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At least 40 dead in Yemen after airstrikes

Saudi-led airstrikes continued attacking Houthi positions across Yemen.

By Ed Adamczyk
Militants loyal to Yemen's President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi take their positions in Taiz, Yemen, March, 30, 2015. Photo by Anees Mahyoub/UPI. | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/08ac272a803565559bca1ea8006f7627/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Militants loyal to Yemen's President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi take their positions in Taiz, Yemen, March, 30, 2015. Photo by Anees Mahyoub/UPI. | License Photo

SANAA , Yemen, March 31 (UPI) -- At least 40 people were killed in airstrikes on a Yemeni refugee camp, with conflicting reports on whether it housed Houthi rebel fighters.

The attack Monday on northern Yemen's Al-Mazraq camp for internally displaced refugees came on the fifth day of Saudi Arabia-led airstrikes against the rebels who have overtaken Yemen's government.

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Riyadh Yasin, the Yemeni foreign minister, insisted the deaths were caused by Houthi artillery fire, but a Doctors Without Borders spokesman labeled the incident an airstrike, adding dozens more were injured. "We cannot confirm it was a refugee camp," said Saudi Brig. Gen. Ahmed al-Asiri. "We will ask the Yemeni government official agencies to confirm that."

Air strikes on Houthi-held positions continued Tuesday, including an attack on an arms depot in Sanaa, Yemen's capital. Saudi-led naval forces also began a blockade on Yemeni ports to keep fresh armaments from reaching the Houthis, affecting the port cities of Aden and Hodeidah. Most of Yemen's oil production is shipped from Hodeidah, and the blockade will likely affect the nation's economy.

Most of the maritime traffic to and from Yemen has been diverted to Djibouti, across the Bab el-Mandeb strait from Yemen. The strait is a chokepoint between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden through which, the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates, 3.8 million barrels of oil pass per day.

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