SANAA (Dispatches) – At least 44 people have been killed and dozens of others wounded after a Saudi airstrike hit a refugee boat off Yemen’s western coast.
Yemen’s al-Masirah television reported that the boat which came under attack was carrying Somali refugees near Bab al-Mandeb Strait.
According to the report, there are a number of women and children among the victims.
A local official in Hudaydah said that the boat had come under attack by an Apache helicopter.
The refugees were on their way from Yemen to Sudan, the unnamed official said.
Hours later, Yemeni soldiers and fighters from allied Popular Committees launched a BM-21 Grad rocket at a gathering of Saudi-sponsored militiamen loyal to resigned Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in Wadi Namlah area of Nihm district in Yemen's western-central province of Sana'a, though no report of casualties was immediately available.
Early on Friday, Saudi warships shelled the coast of Tuhayta district in Hudaydah province, but there were no reports on possible casualties and the extent of damage caused.
Saudi Arabia has been leading a deadly military campaign against Yemen since March 2015. The kingdom has also imposed an aerial and naval blockade on its southern neighbor.
Britain and the U.S. have provided huge amounts of arms and military training to the Saudi forces.
According to the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, the Saudi military campaign has claimed the lives of 10,000 Yemenis and left 40,000 others wounded.
McGoldrick told reporters in Sana’a earlier this year that the figure was based on casualty counts given by health facilities and that the actual number might be higher.
Local Yemeni sources have already put the death toll from the Saudi war at over 12,000, including many women and children.