Saudi-led coalition air strikes have killed dozens of people including at least 29 children travelling on a bus in Yemen's northern Saada province, Yemeni medical sources and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have said.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the coalition air strike and called on all parties to spare civilians and "to respect their obligations under global humanitarian law, in particular the fundamental rules of distinction, proportionality and precautions in attack", U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said a hospital it supported in Saada had received dozens of casualties after the attack.
"We call on the parties to take appropriate measures to protect civilians", she said.
Dramatic images of wounded children, clothes and school bags smeared with blood were aired by the Al Masirah TV, reported AP.
The UN children's agency UNICEF said it was "very concerned with the initial reports of children being killed".
The ballistic missile was sacked from the northern Yemeni province of Amran towards the southern Saudi city of Jizan, said a coalition statement published by the official Saudi Press Agency.
"The attack carried out today by the coalition in Saada was against those people responsible for the ballistic missile attack last night ... the allegation [that civilians were targeted] is coming by the Houthis, and it's still an allegation", Col Al Maliki said.
"Scores killed, even more injured, most under the age of ten", the head of the ICRC in Yemen, Johannes Bruwer, said on his Twitter account, adding that the ICRC in Yemen is "sending additional supplies to hospitals to cope with the influx". Houthi backed television stations broadcast footage of young children receiving treatment in local hospitals.
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Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) denounced American military aid to Saudi Arabia following reports of a devastating airstrike on a Yemeni school bus on Thursday.
A USA military spokesperson said United States forces were not involved in Thursday's air strike.
"The victims were the children in the bus, passersby and merchants in the market, and some injuries are serious, so the number of deaths may increase".
The following year, a coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia intervened in the conflict.
The Houthis have in recent months ramped up missile attacks against Saudi Arabia, which Riyadh usually says it intercepts.
The Red Cross Yemen branch noted that under global humanitarian law, civilians should be protected during times of war.
More than 10,000 people have been killed in three years of war, according to the United Nations.
"This latest air strike, only a week after the attacks on Hodeida city, demonstrates a continued disregard for human life and suffering", said Johan Mooij, the agency's country director in Yemen.