Ten children were killed and 28 other children were wounded on Saturday when an airstrike struck a school in northern Yemen, medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders said.
All the casualties were 8-15 years old, the group, which uses its French acronym, MSF, posted on Twitter.
Yemeni officials say that the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition was responsible for the attack, the Associated Press reports.
As Reuters explains, “Saudi Arabia and its allies have launched thousands of air strikes against the Houthis since they drove the internationally recognized government into exile in March 2015.”
The Saudi-led coalition, however, denied targeting a school. Agence France-Presse reports that coalition spokesman Gen. Ahmad Assiri said that the site bombed was “a major training camp for militia,” adding that the death toll as recorded by MSF “confirms the Al Houthi practice of recruiting and subjecting children to terror.”
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“When jets target training camps, they cannot distinguish between ages,” he said, according to the news agency.
Assiri also said, according to the New York Times, “They [Houthi rebels] use civilian installations as the command and control centers of their organization.” He added, “Don’t focus on the technical details. This is a war. Collateral damage could happen, mistakes could happen.”
UNICEF issued a statement Saturday in response to the attack, saying, in part: “With the intensification in violence across the country in the past week, the number of children killed and injured by airstrikes, street fighting, and landmines has grown sharply.”
The Washington Post, which also reports that Yemeni and local officials described it as a coalition strike, writes that the force “dramatically stepped up its air assault Tuesday after five months of relative calm.”
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