Saudi-led air strikes hit centre for blind people and commerce building in Yemen

Human Rights Watch have condemned the strikes in Yemen

Serina Sandhu
Wednesday 06 January 2016 15:36 GMT
Yemen: Airstrike hits centre for the blind in Sanaa as Saudi-led bombing continues

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Air strikes led by Saudi Arabia have hit a care centre for blind people, residents have said.

Three people are believed to have been wounded at the Noor Centre for the Blind on Tuesday, according to Saba news agency.

The capital's Chamber of Commerce and Industry was also hit in the strikes, although no casualties were reported.

The strikes were targeted at Houthi forces, an ally of Iran, in Yemen's capital Sanaa, the port city of Hodaida and the city of Taiz.

A patient at the centre for blind people expressed his shock at being struck.

Speaking to the International Business Times, Abdullah Ahmed Banyan said: “People with disabilities are being struck in their residence. Around 1:30am, two missiles hit the live-in quarters of a home for the blind."

"Can you imagine they are striking the blind? What is this criminality? Why? Is it the blind that are fighting the war?”

On 2 January, Saudi Arabia announced that a cease fire, which began on 15 December following United-Nations backed peace talks, had ended. It came on the same day the kingdom executed a Shi’ite cleric convicted of “terrorism”, which has seen tension grow between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

In March, the Saudi-led coalition entered the conflict in Yemen in an effort to stem Iran's influence in the region.

Human Rights Watch has condemned the strikes, some of which they believe "amount to war crimes".

Belkis Wille, the group’s Yemen researcher, told The Independent that 36 strikes, launched since March, “violated the laws of war”.

“In none of these cases have we seen that the Saudi-led coalition has launched any form of investigation nor taken any measures to compensate the victims or their families.”

"We have seen the coalition bombing and hitting dozens of civilian objects including homes, hospitals and schools, killing hundreds of civilians.”

So far, the war has killed 2795 civilians, according to the UN. Of the fatalities, around 60 per cent are the result of air strikes.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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