SANA, Yemen — An airstrike by a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia hit a cement factory north of Sana, Yemen’s capital, on Wednesday evening, killing at least 15 people, including civilian workers in nearby businesses, according to local security and medical officials.
The bombing of the factory, in Amran Province, came days after Saudi officials pledged to form a high-level committee to investigate strikes in Yemen’s civil war that have killed civilians, and to improve their military’s aerial targeting with advice from American and British experts.
The coalition has been fighting since March on behalf of Yemen’s exiled government to defeat a rebel movement from the north known as the Houthis.
The coalition bombing campaign has intensified throughout northern Yemen over the last two months, since the breakdown of negotiations to end the civil war, and as anti-Houthi forces have mounted an offensive aimed at capturing Sana from the rebels.
The cement factory had been idle since it was hit by airstrikes earlier in the war, according to a security official in Amran, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the news media. The deaths from the latest bombing, at the factory gate, included two military guards, but also “people inside parked cars, grocery store owners, pharmacists and shoppers,” he said.
Also on Wednesday, activists in the southern city of Taiz told The Associated Press that shelling by the Houthis had damaged the National Museum in the city, which contained rare manuscripts and other artifacts. The museum was hit on Sunday, an activist said.
Residents and human rights groups have for months accused the Houthis of indiscriminately shelling Taiz and of imposing a suffocating blockade as the rebels have tried to gain control of the city. A report this week by Human Rights Watch said the rebels had confiscated basic goods from civilians trying to bring in supplies to the city, including food, oxygen cylinders and vaccine doses.
Shuaib Almosawa reported from Sana, and Kareem Fahim from Amman, Jordan.
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(via NY Times)