About 30 African immigrants including women, were killed in an airstrike launched by suspected Saudi-led helicopters on their boat on the western coast of Yemen, a security official told Xinhua Friday.
The local Yemeni official based in the Houthi-controlled western port city of Hodyada said that a boat carrying more than 30 African immigrants including women from Somalia all died in the aerial bombardment by helicopters that occurred late on Thursday.
Most of the immigrants were coming back voluntarily from Yemen and heading towards Sudan, Somalia and other African countries, the security source said.
He added that scores of others managed to escape and have been rescued after the attack.
Other local sources said that a number of Yemeni fishermen were killed when the same warplanes struck their boat near Yemen’s Red Sea Coast.
During the past few weeks, the Saudi-led Arab coalition intensified airstrikes on areas along Yemen’s Red Sea Coast in an apparent attempt to support Yemeni government forces to kick the Shiite Houthi group out of the port city of Hodyada.
Yemen has been suffering from a civil war and a Saudi-led military intervention for around two years. The civil war began after the Houthi militants with support from forces loyal to the former president ousted the UN-backed transitional government and occupied capital Sanaa militarily in September 2014.
The legitimate government controls the south and some eastern parts, while the Houthi-Saleh alliance controls the other parts including the capital Sanaa.
The UN has sponsored peace talks between the warring factions several times, but the factions failed to reach common ground.
The civil war, ground battles and airstrikes have already killed more than 10,000 people, half of them civilians, injured more than 35,000 others and displaced over two million, according to humanitarian agencies. Enditem