September 15, 2015 / 5:50 PM / 4 years ago

Saudi-led strikes kill at least 54 Yemenis: Houthi-run agency

Smoke billows from the site of a Saudi-led air strike on a Houthi position in the Yemeni frontline province of Marib September 15, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

SANAA (Reuters) - Strikes by Saudi-led coalition aircraft killed at least 54 people in attacks across Yemen on Tuesday, including four children, the Houthi-run news agency and residents said.

Residents said the air strikes targeted two houses in Ans in Dhamar province, one of which belonged to a supporter of the Houthi group which the Saudi-led coalition is trying to dislodge from Yemen. said 13 other civilians were killed in air strikes in the northern Saada province, a stronghold of the Houthi group which hails from the Zaydi branch of Shi’ite Islam.

Air strikes also killed 13 people in attacks on roads and bridges in al-Mahawit province, northeast of the capital Sanaa, and 10 more in the nearby Hajja province, said.

The reports could not immediately be verified independently.

The Saudi-led coalition began air strikes against the Houthis and their allies, forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, in late March after they pushed from their northern stronghold towards the southern port of Aden. International human rights groups have expressed concern at the number of civilians killed in the raids.

The coalition, which says the Houthis are allied with Iran, has stepped up air strikes on Sanaa and other Houthi-held areas since a Houthi missile killed more than 60 Gulf Arab troops stationed in Marib province on Sept. 4.

On Sunday, five Saudi soldiers were killed near the border with Yemen, while a Saudi-led military coalition began an offensive to drive Houthi militia forces out of Marib.

The Houthis seized Sanaa last September and eventually forced President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and his administration to flee to Saudi Arabia.

Reporting by Mohammed Ghobari; Writing by Sami Aboudi, Editing by Janet Lawrence

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