Raids kill nine in central Yemen - medical official, residents

SANAA (Reuters) - Arab coalition air strikes killed nine people in Houthi-controlled Ibb city in central Yemen late on Saturday, a hospital manager and residents in the area told Reuters.

Abdul Malik Al-Sanani, the manager of the city’s al-Thawra Hospital, told Reuters: “Nine civilians were killed, and another nine were wounded, treated and discharged from the hospital.”

Residents said the nine dead in the attack on several areas of the city and its outskirts included three children and their parents.

A spokesman for the Saudi-led alliance of Arab countries could not immediately be reached for comment.

The coalition, which began operations in Yemen in March last year to try to reverse the rise to power of the Iran-allied Houthi group, has repeatedly said it does not target civilians.

U.N.-sponsored talks to end the fighting that has killed more than 10,000 people collapsed in failure last month and the Houthi movement and allied forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh resumed shelling into neighboring Saudi Arabia.

Yemen and Saudi Arabia - which intervened to prevent the Houthis and forces loyal to the former president from taking over - blame Shi’ite Iran for supplying weapons to the Houthis.

Tehran views the Houthis, who hail from a Shi’ite sect, as the legitimate authority in Yemen but denies accusations it supplies them with weapons.

Reporting by Mohammed Ghobari, writing by Hadeel Al Sayegh,; Editing by William Maclean and Alison Williams