At least six people were killed and dozens of others wounded when Saudi-led coalition warplanes separately hit two popular markets in Yemen on Saturday, residents and medics said. One of the targets, Khalakah market, is located in Nehm district, about 30 km northeast of the rebel-controlled capital Sanaa, where the airstrikes killed at least five people, injuring dozens of other shoppers, and burned three cars, according to a medic in Nehm district, Xinhua news agency reported. The medic told Xinhua by phone that the injured were more than 20. Residents said the market was very crowded at noon when the airstrikes hit. The other targeted market is located in Zabid district south of the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, where one person was killed and more than 15 others injured, according to a provincial medic there, who also said the airstrikes took place at noon. Many shops were destroyed in the attacks, the medic added. Earlier in the day, Houthi-controlled Saba news agency and residents said another two airstrikes overnight targeted the headquarters of Yemen’s state satellite television station in Sanaa, killing four journalists and injuring a bodyguard at the station’s gate. Residents said part of the TV building was destroyed.
These are the latest of a series of airstrikes by the Saudi-led military coalition fighting dominant Houthi rebels in a war of more than two and a half years. The new wave of war escalation came six days after Houthis killed former President Ali Abdullah Saleh who had changed sides and backed the coalition. The security situation has calmed after Houthis completely controlled the capital and defeated Saleh’s armed supporters. The capital’s residents began gradually to crowd in the markets, streets, and state employees also went back to work in the ministries.
Saudi-led military coalition intervened in Yemen’s conflict in 2015 to back President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi whom the Houthis forced into exile in Saudi capital Riyadh. The war has killed over 10,000 people, mostly civilians, and displaced 3 million, according to UN agencies.