Saudi-led air attack on Yemeni factory kills 15

By Ed Adamczyk Contact the Author   |  Feb. 4, 2016 at 7:19 AM
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SANAA, Yemen, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- An airstrike in the Amran province of Yemen by a Saudi-led coalition on a cement factory killed at least 15 people, Yemen's state news agency reported.

The Amran Cement Factory was largely vacant because of an airstrike earlier in the war, which since March 2015 has pitted a coalition of Arab nations in support of Yemen's exiled government against Houthi rebels. The death toll Wednesday included civilians working in nearby buildings who were described by an unidentified security official as "people inside parked cars, grocery store owners, pharmacists and shoppers."

A local official told Saba, the Yemeni state news agency, the death toll was expected to rise, and that the cement factory attack was part of a broader and intensified bombing campaign.

A factor in the war has been shelling by both sides without regard to targets or collateral damage. The factory bombing came days after Saudi officials said the air coalition would work to improve aerial accuracy to reduce the number of civilian casualties. The Houthis have been accused by local residents and human rights organization of indiscriminate shelling, including an assault Wednesday on the National Museum in the city of Taiz, which damaged rare manuscripts and other objects.

The rebels have also fired mortars and other missiles into neighboring Saudi Arabia, coalition spokesman Brig. Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri said, killing 375 civilians. Villages on the border have been evacuated and schools have been closed, he said.

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