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Saudi-led coalition airstrikes kill 36 in northwestern Yemen's Hajjah province

The news comes after Aug. 21 airstrikes reportedly killed up to 65 civilians in the Taiz province, to the south.

By Fred Lambert
Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in Yemen's northwestern Hajjah province killed up to 31 people on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015. Google Maps image
Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in Yemen's northwestern Hajjah province killed up to 31 people on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015. Google Maps image

SANAA, Yemen, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- Airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition against Shia Houthi rebels in Yemen killed 36 people in the northwestern Hajjah province.

The BBC reports the strikes hit a bottling plant Sunday morning and that most of the dead were civilians.

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According to Xinhua news agency, 15 airstrikes in Hajjah on Sunday killed 19 workers at the plant and 17 newly-recruited Houthis at a training facility next door. The rebels are reported to have frequented the bottling plant.

The United Nations estimates at least 4,500 people have been killed in the Yemeni conflict since March, when Saudi Arabia began a bombing campaign against the Houthis. The rebels pushed in from the north and seized several of Yemen's main cities earlier this year, sending the country's president, Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, into exile in Saudi Arabia.

RELATED 65 Yemeni civilians reportedly killed in airstrike

News of the deaths in Hajjah comes after Aug. 21 airstrikes reportedly killed up to 65 people in Taiz province, to the south.

The Saudi-led coalition, which also includes forces from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Morocco, Sudan and Egypt, is backing southern Yemeni militias and pro-Hadi forces in a bid to restore the deposed Sunni president.

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In late July, Human Rights Watch said airstrikes by the coalition that killed 65 civilians at two residential compounds in the city of Mokha may constitute war crimes since the buildings had "no evident military" value.

RELATED Pro-government forces continue making gains in southern Yemen

Pro-Hadi forces, with help from the coalition, were able to capture the southern port city of Aden in July, and soon after, troops and armored vehicles from the UAE deployed there and took part in further attacks northward.

However, forces with Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula are reported to have taken over one of Aden's neighborhoods, and the BBC reports the head of security in the southern port city, Abdelhakim al-Sanaidi, was killed by an unidentified gunmen on Sunday.

The UN says 1,950 civilians are among the dead since March, and that 21 million Yemenis cannot survive without some form of aid, with four out of five children, women and men lacking basic necessities such as water, food, adequate medical care and shelter.

RELATED French hostage Isabelle Prime freed in Yemen

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