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Saudi-led airstrikes kill at least 30 in Yemen’s capital

At least 30 people were killed and 130 others injured in Saudi Arabian-led coalition airstrikes Saturday that damaged neighborhoods including the Old City of Sana, a UNESCO World Heritage site, Ministry of Health officials said.

At least seven members of a single family were killed by bombs that rocked the middle of the Old City, said local council member Qannaf Sahreb.

The attack was quickly condemned by Yemeni historical preservation officials, who noted that buildings in the neighborhood date back thousands of years. At least 17 houses were destroyed, 130 severely damaged and 300 partially damaged, an official said.

The airstrikes also targeted the sector’s busiest street, and other buildings in Sana including headquarters of the Ministry of Interior, TV and radio operations and police.

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Ministry of Health officials issued an appeal to international agencies to assist in caring for the injured.

The deadly airstrikes were the latest launched by the coalition of Sunni Muslim Persian Gulf states against Shiite rebels known as Houthis who drove President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi out of Sana, the capital, last year.

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On Wednesday, Yemen’s exiled prime minister returned to the war-torn country to reestablish the government in the southern port city of Aden after nearly six months in Saudi Arabia.

The return of Prime Minister Khaled Bahah came after pro-government forces drove the Houthis and their allies from Aden in July and started moving north toward Sana.

Hadi had designated Aden as his temporary capital before fleeing to Riyadh, the Saudi capital, in March as the rebels closed in.

Meanwhile, Houthis in Sana attacked a group of human rights activists who were staging a demonstration Saturday calling for the release of jailed political leaders.

Al-Alayaa is a special correspondent.

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