Dahyan air strike

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Dahyan air strike
Part of Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen
Location Dahyan, Sa'dah governorate, Yemen
Coordinates 17°03′54″N 43°36′01″E / 17.06500°N 43.60028°E / 17.06500; 43.60028Coordinates: 17°03′54″N 43°36′01″E / 17.06500°N 43.60028°E / 17.06500; 43.60028
Target Civilian bus
Deaths At least 51 people (per Houthi's Health Ministry)[1][2]
Non-fatal injuries
At least 48 (per the Red Cross)[3]
At least 79 people (per Houthi's Health Ministry)[1][2]
Perpetrators Saudi Arabian Armed Forces

On 9 August 2018, Saudi Arabian expeditionary aircraft bombed a civilian school bus passing through a crowded market in Dahyan, Saada Governorate, Yemen, near the border with Saudi Arabia.[4][5][6] At least 29 children were killed, all under 15 years old[7] and most under age 10.[6] Sources disagree on the exact number of deaths but they estimate around 51 people were killed in the air strike.[1][4][5][8][9]


The children were on a bus heading back to school from a picnic at the time of the attack, according to Save the Children, when the driver stopped to get refreshment at the market in Dahyan.[7] Most of the children were under age 10, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.[6] According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), an ICRC supported hospital in Saada received the bodies of 29 children under 15 years of age, and 48 wounded individuals of which 30 were children.[10]

A resident of Dahyan, recalled that before the attack, the warplanes had been hovering over the area for more than an hour and that he was less than half a kilometer away from the attack and heard the explosion.[11] Another witness stated "Our shops were open and shoppers were walking around as usual. All those who died were residents, children and shop owners."[12] Yahya Hussein, a teacher of the boys was traveling separately from the bus, recalled a loud explosion with dust and smoke everywhere. "The scene can't be described --- there was body parts and blood everywhere."[13]

Media coverage[edit]

The attack came to light after videos were posted on Twitter depicting the remains of the bus and the children.[4] Images of the victims were aired on the Al Masirah TV network, with dramatic images of blood and debris-covered children lying on hospital stretchers being highlighted.[10] The Saudi Arabian coalition later issued a statement saying that they conducted an airstrike in Saada but were targeting Houthi missile launchers.[4]

The mass funeral of the children killed was aired on the Al Mariah TV network, with thousands of Yemenis participating.[14]



The official Saudi Arabian press agency called the strike a "legitimate military action" that targeted elements responsible for a rebel missile attack on the Saudi Arabian city of Jizan on Wednesday,[7][15] claiming that the airstrikes "conformed to international and humanitarian laws".[7] The agency also claimed that Houthis were using children as human shields.[7]

Yemeni journalist Nasser Arrabyee reported that there were no Houthis in the vicinity of the strike.[4] A Houthi spokesman said that the coalition showed "clear disregard for civilian life", as the attack had targeted a crowded public place in the city.[16] During the mass funeral of the children, many anti-United States, Saudi Arabian and Israeli slogans, signs and pictures were seen.[14]


United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres condemned the attack and called for an independent and prompt investigation,[7] and UNICEF strongly condemned the attack.[17]

The United States Department of State called for Saudi Arabia to conduct an investigation into the strike.[16] The United Kingdom's Foreign and Commonwealth Office expressed "deep concern", called for a transparent investigation, and called upon all parties to prevent civilian casualties and to co-operate with the UN to reach a lasting political solution in Yemen.[18]

Non-governmental organisations[edit]

The head of the Yemeni delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross tweeted, "@ICRC_Yemen-supported hospital has received dozens of dead and wounded. Under international humanitarian law, civilians must be protected during conflict."[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Death toll of airstrike on Yemeni children's bus rises to 51, 79 wounded". www.efe.com. Retrieved 2018-08-10. 
  2. ^ a b "ICRC Yemen on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-08-10. 
  3. ^ "Schoolchildren riding bus among dozens killed in Saudi airstrike in Yemen | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 2018-08-10. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Yemen: Dozens of civilians killed in school bus attack". Al Jazeera. 10 August 2018. Retrieved 10 August 2018. 
  5. ^ a b "Strike on Yemen bus kills 29 children". BBC News. 9 August 2018. Retrieved 10 August 2018. 
  6. ^ a b c Al-Mujahed, Ali; Raghavan, Sudarsan (9 August 2018). "Airstrike by U.S.-backed Saudi coalition on bus kills dozens of Yemeni children". The Washington Post. Retrieved 10 August 2018. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f Dehghan, Saeed Kamali (9 August 2018). "Dozens dead in Yemen as bus carrying children hit by airstrike". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 August 2018. 
  8. ^ Marsri, Lena (9 August 2018). "Saudi-led coalition airstrike kills dozens of children on bus in Yemen". ABC News. Retrieved 10 August 2018. 
  9. ^ "Airstrike on children's bus is 'a low point' in Yemen war – UNICEF". Sky News. Retrieved 2018-08-10. 
  10. ^ a b "Saudi coalition airstrike in Yemen kills 50, rebels say". Retrieved 2018-08-13. 
  11. ^ "At least 29 children killed by Saudi-led air strike on Yemeni school bus". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 2018-08-13. 
  12. ^ Reuters. "Saudi air strikes in Yemen described as 'grotesque'". Retrieved 2018-08-13. 
  13. ^ CNN, Nima Elbagir, Salma Abdelaziz, Sheena McKenzie and Waffa Munayyer,. "The schoolboys in Yemen were chatting and laughing. Then came the airstrike". CNN. Retrieved 2018-08-13. 
  14. ^ a b Post, The Jakarta. "Protests at funeral for Yemeni children killed in coalition strike". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 2018-08-14. 
  15. ^ "Saudi Coalition Bombs School Bus in Yemen, Killing Dozens". Retrieved 10 August 2018. 
  16. ^ a b Beech, Eric (10 August 2018). Zargham, Mohammad, ed. "U.S. calls on Saudi-led coalition to probe Yemen attack". Reuters. Retrieved 9 August 2018. 
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