Houthi shelling kills seven in Saudi Arabia, nine Yemenis die in air strike

August 16, 2016 8:19 AM EDT

Damage is seen inside a hospital operated by Medecins Sans Frontieres after it was hit by a Saudi-led coalition air strike in the Abs district of Hajja province, Yemen August 16, 2016. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad


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RIYADH (Reuters) - Shells fired by Yemen's Houthi group killed seven civilians in southern Saudi Arabia, Saudi state television reported, while an air strike by an Arab coalition destroyed a house east of the Yemeni capital killing nine family members, residents said.

Saudi Ekhbariyah television said projectiles fired by the Iran-allied Houthis landed at an industrial area in the southern city of Najran, close to the Yemeni border, in one of the deadliest attacks on Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia's foes during more than a year of war, the Houthis are Yemen's dominant political force and are fighting against Saudi-backed loyalists of the country's exiled government in the Nehm district, where the strike occurred.

A spokesman for the coalition did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

It said four Saudi citizens and three expatriate workers died. A resident said the projectile landed some 500 meters (yards) from a local power station, causing panic in the city.

"Najran is sad this evening," the resident, who asked not to be identified told Reuters.

Earlier in the day, residents in Nehm area, east of Sanaa, said a plane from the Saudi-led alliance struck the home of a local leader of Yemen's armed Houthi group while he was out, killing his father and eight members of the family.

Saudi Arabia and its mostly Gulf Arab allies intervened in Yemen's civil war in March 2015 to restore President Abd-Rabu Mansour Hadi to power and fight off the Iran-allied Houthis.

The conflict has killed at over 6,500 people and unleashed a humanitarian crisis in one of the world's poorest countries.

Medecins Sans Frontieres said an air strike on Monday hit one of its hospitals northwestern Hajja province and killed 11 people and wounded several others. The charity said in a statement on Tuesday that three of those who were wounded had died, raising the death toll to 14.

UNICEF said a school was bombed on Saturday in neighboring Saada province, killing ten children mostly between the ages of six and eight. Coalition spokesman General Ahmed al-Asseri said the bombing had targeted a centre used by the Houthi militias as a training camp.

(Writing By Abeer Abu Omar and Noah Browning and Celine Aswad; editing by Ralph Boulton)



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