SANAA, Yemen (AP) — At least 10 civilians were killed and 25 wounded when two ballistic missiles from Yemen’s Houthi rebels stuck a religious educational facility in the central province of Marib, officials said Monday.
The missiles hit Dar al-Hadith – a religious school and a mosque – in the residential neighborhood of al-Aumd late Sunday and the casualties included women and children, they said.
The attack also damaged nearby houses, said the officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief media.
There was no immediate comment from the Iranian-backed Houthis, who have attempted for months to take oil-rich Marib to complete their control over the northern half of Yemen.
Yemen has been engulfed in a civil war since 2014, when the Houthis captured the capital, Sanaa, and forced President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and his internationally recognized government to flee to the south, and then later to Saudi Arabia.
A Saudi-led coalition entered the war the next year to try restore the government to power. The war has deteriorated largely into a stalemate and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
The facility includes a religious school and a mosque attended by about 1,200 Muslim students from across the country. Most of the students and teachers left the area last month as the Houthis made progress in their offensive on Marib.
Moammar al-Iryani, information minister of the internationally recognized government, said the casualties included women and children.
“This horrific massacre comes after a series of systematic killings of civilians that the terrorist Houthi militia committed in the past few days” in the government-held cities of Marib and Taiz, he said.
He called on the U.N. Security Council and the United States to pressure the Houthis to stop their attacks on civilians and to prosecute those implicated as “war criminals.”
A Houthi ballistic missile struck the house of a key tribal leader in al-Aumd on Thursday, killing at least 11 civilians and wounding 16 others.
On Saturday, the Houthis shelled the residential Camp neighborhood on the outskirts of the government-held city of Taiz, killing at least three children from the same family. At least six other children were wounded, according to al-Iryani.
Meanwhile in Tazi, government forces and allied tribal fighters launched an offensive late Sunday on the last remining pocket held by the Houthis on the city’s the south western outskirts.
The government-run SABA news agency reported Monday that at least seven Houthi fighters were killed including a field commander, and six others were wounded.