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11 August, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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UNSC to meet on Yemen bus attack

Saudi-led coalition to probe its air strike that killed at least 29 children
AFP

The UN Security Council will meet behind closed doors at the request of five countries yesterday to discuss the Saudi coalition attack on a bus carrying children in Yemen, diplomats said, reports AFP from United Nations, US. The meeting was requested by Bolivia, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, and Sweden, which are all non-permanent council members.

The Saudi-led coalition earlier announced that it had ordered an investigation into the air strike on Thursday that killed at least 29 children traveling on the bus in Yemen.

"We have seen the images of children who died," Dutch Deputy Ambassador Lise Gregoire-van Haaren told reporters. "What is essential at this moment in time is to have a credible and independent investigation."

It remained unclear whether the council would unite and call for action.

The United States, France and Britain -- three of the five permanent council members -- have supported the Saudi coalition in its military campaign against Huthi rebels in Yemen, but have expressed concern over the heavy toll on civilians.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday called

for an independent investigation of the attack that left at least 48 others wounded in the raid on the Huthi rebel stronghold of Saada.

Meanwhile, the Saudi-led coalition yesterday announced a probe into the air strike that killed at least 29 children in Yemen where it is fighting Huthi rebels.

“The leadership of the coalition has ordered the immediate opening of an investigation to assess the events, clarify their circumstances and announce the results as soon as possible,” a senior coalition official said, quoted by the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

The announcement came a day after the raid in

the northern Yemeni rebel stronghold of Saada that also left at least 48 others wounded, stirring calls for an investigation from the United Nations and Washington.

The senior official said the decision to investigate the strike followed information reported by “media and international organisations working in Yemen, regarding an operation by coalition forces in the province of Saada Thursday, and of a passenger bus which suffered collateral damage in this operation”.

A hospital supported by the International Committee for the Red Cross received the bodies of 29 children after the strike, the organisation said.

Huthi health minister Taha al-Mutawakel yesterday put the death toll at 51 people, including 40 children, while warning the number of victims could rise further.

Since 2015, Saudi Arabia has been leading a military campaign to restore the internationally recognized government to power and push back the Huthis, who still hold the capital Sanaa.

The war has left nearly 10,000 people dead and unleashed what the United Nations describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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