Saudi Arabia Inaugurates 8 Projects in Yemen’s Al-Mahra

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The toll from US-backed Saudi coalition air strikes on a fish market and hospital in the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah Thursday has risen to at least 60 people dead and 130 others wounded.

The casualties were largely down to bombings that appeared to target the Al-Thawra hospital (the largest in the country) and the town's fish market (70% of Yemen's food imports pass via Hodeida).

Its spokesman, Colonel Turki al-Malki, showed images of mortars at a press conference in Riyadh on Friday and said they demonstrated that Houthi forces were behind the carnage.

In another development, Martin Griffiths, Yemen's envoy to the United Nations, said the world body was going to invite warring sides for talks on September 6 in Geneva.

This came a few days after Saudi Arabia suspended oil exports through a strategic Red Sea channel, amid Houthi attacks on crude tankers on 25 July.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been leading an Arab military coalition against Houthis in support of Yemen's internationally recognized President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi over the last three years.

The government-supported military coalition denied responsibility for the attack.

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A senior United Nations official expressed alarm Friday at deadly strikes in Yemen s rebel-held port city of Hodeida, as the government said it was ready to attend UN-brokered talks in Geneva.

The conflict escalated dramatically in March 2015, when Saudi Arabia and eight other mostly Sunni Arab states - backed by the US, UK, and France - began air strikes against the Houthis, with the declared aim of restoring Mr Hadi's government.

During the rally, the protesters carried photos and placards in condemnation of the recent crimes committed by the Saudi-led coalition and its mercenaries.

Tamer Kirolos, Save the Children's country director for Yemen, described the situation in Hodeida as that in a "ghost town", saying "the streets are empty even in the day and there are checkpoints everywhere".

The disregard of worldwide humanitarian law in Yemen can not be tolerated.

Resolving the crisis over Hodeida would have to be part of a "comprehensive political settlement" between the rebels and the government, he said, suggesting that the talks would take place despite fighting on the ground.

"If this is what's starting to happen, civilians are at risk, infrastructure is at risk and we as the worldwide community have to demand that the two parties come together and understand the seriousness of this", Haley said.

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