SANA’A – Dozens of Yemeni children gathered on Sunday in the capital city of Sana’a to protest against airstrikes by the Saudi-led international coalition, which is believed to be behind the recent bombing of three buses that killed at least 51 people, mostly children.
On Thursday, an airstrike hit a bus carrying children on their way to an educational summer camp organized by the Ministry for Islamic Affairs near the northwestern city of Sa’ada, killing at least 40 minors.
Two other buses were also targeted.
“Yemen is bleeding, protect childhood,” read the signs carried by some of the children, who also staged a sketch in which they pretended they had been killed and sprayed themselves with fake blood.
According to reports, the Saudi-led coalition has said it would investigate the attack on the buses.
The province of Sa’ada, near the border with neighboring Saudi Arabia, is the main bastion of the Houthis, a Zaidi Shia-led movement backed by Iran that launched an insurgency against the Sunni-controlled government in Sana’a in 2014 and took over the Yemeni capital shortly thereafter.
A military coalition led by Saudi Arabia has been carrying out devastating airstrikes since 2015 against Houthi positions – causing thousands of civilian deaths in the process, according to war monitors – in an attempt to restore the internationally-recognized government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, which is currently based in the southern port city of Aden.
The United Nations, the European Union and numerous humanitarian organizations have all warned that the consequences of the Saudi-led intervention, such as a famine threatening almost 18 million people or a cholera outbreak infecting hundreds of thousands, have reached the level of a humanitarian “disaster” or “catastrophe.”