- “So many people are being killed in Yemen—it’s a tragedy and it’s unjustified.”
- The Houthis accuse the Saudi-led coalition of Saturday's bombings as revenge for the Friday shooting.
- The attackers, armed gangs on motorcycles, were behind the attacks on the two villages in the northwestern part of Nigeria.
At least 31 civilians were killed in air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen on Saturday. The attacks in Yemen came the day after the Houthis claimed to have shot down one of the Saudi coalition’s planes. The attack was confirmed by the UN coordinator in the country, Lise Grande.
“Preliminary field reports indicate that on 15 February as many as 31 civilians were killed and 12 others injured in strikes that hit Al-Hayjah area . . . in Al-Jawf governorate,” said a statement from the office of the UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen. “So many people are being killed in Yemen—it’s a tragedy and it’s unjustified,” she added.
In addition to those killed, twelve other civilians were left nursing injuries following the attacks as shown by preliminary investigations into the attack. The health ministry in al-Jawf province, which is controlled by Houthi rebels, said that there are women and children among those killed. The Houthis accuse the Saudi-led coalition of Saturday’s bombings as revenge for the Friday shooting.
A coalition spokesman only confirmed that a Tornado fighter plane crashed but did not state whether it was shot down. It is unclear what happened to the pilot. The coalition announced on Saturday, according to the Saudi news agency SPA, that it has initiated a rescue operation.
The Saudi-led coalition began fighting the rebel forces in Yemen in 2015 after the Houthis overthrew the internationally recognized government the year before. The conflict is considered a war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
At least 30 Killed in Nigeria Village Attacks
Elsewhere, attackers killed at least 30 people, residents of two villages in Nigeria, and looted the villages for food and cattle on Saturday in Maiduguri, Nigeria. The attackers, armed gangs on motorcycles, were behind the attacks on the two villages in the northwestern part of the country. The Nigerian police made the announcement on Saturday.
The villagers were brutally killed before the perpetrators looted the houses for food and cattle. Police say 21 of the victims were burnt to death while nine others were killed by gunshot wounds. The attacks took place on Friday evening in the villages of Dankar and Tsauwa, located in the northwestern state of Katsina.
Salisu Lawal, the ward head of Tsauwa, said residents were preparing for Magrib, the Islmaic 7:00 PM prayer, when the bandits attacked. “Yesterday (Friday) when we were preparing for the Magrib prayer, we heard that bandits were attacking Dankar village,” Lawal told news Reporters. “Unknown to us that they were also coming to this village, we saw them in large number; some of them trekking, some riding motorcycles,” he added.
Police say both soldiers and police are deployed in the two villages. An investigation has been launched. Since last year, hundreds of people in the region have been killed in violent attacks. The government blames “bandits,” a commonly used term for criminals behind the robberies and abductions.
Nigeria’s security forces are already fighting a violent Islamist uprising in the northeast. Here, the Boko Haram group has killed and abducted thousands of people in recent years. As recently as a week ago, suspected Boko Haram militants killed at least 30 people in the state of Borno.