45 people were killed and another 65 injured in an airstrike by a Saudi-led coalition at a refugee camp in Houthi-controlled northern Yemen on Monday, the International Organization for Migration (IMO) said.
The bombardment took place in the vicinity of the Mazraq refugee camp, Joel Millman, IMO spokesman told Reuters, citing the organization’s staff on the ground.
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It was not immediately clear how many of the casualties were civilians and how many were armed personnel, he added.
Earlier, a humanitarian official told the agency that the airstrike had targeted a military installation not far from the camp.
Yemen’s Defense Ministry, which is controlled by the Houthis, said on its website that 40 people, including women and children, were killed and another 250 people received injuries.
“Saudi warplanes targeted one of four refugee camps in the Harad district, which led to the death and injury of several of its residents,” the ministry said. “The airstrike targeted camp 1 in the Mazraq region, which houses around 4,000 refugees, leaving over 40 people dead – including women and children – and over 250 others injured.”
Yemen’s exiled foreign minister, Riyadh Yaseen, has blamed the Houthis for the deaths of people at the Mazraq refugee camp.
The blast was not caused by the coalition, but by “artillery strikes,” which the rebels are responsible for, Yaseen told journalists in Saudi capital, Riyadh.
The Mazraq region, near the Saudi border, hosts a cluster of camps, in which thousands of displaced Yemenis and East African migrants reside. Around 750 families have been forced to flee to the camps from the Houthi heartland region of Saada in northern Yemen since the Saudi-led operation began.The air strikes also have targeted the Houthi forces advancing on the port city of Aden, the last bastion of the Saudi-backed president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
Witnesses told Daily Sabah paper that the coalition bombarded rebel-controlled military sites near Mount Nuqum in eastern part of capital Sanaa, with the Houthis replied with anti-aircraft fire.