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Bomb that targeted Sanaa al-Adbulmanayyna was not launched by Houthi rebels, according to government spokesman
Thirty-nine people, including children, have been killed and more than 60 injured in a missile attack on a mosque and religious school in Sanaa, the Yemeni government has said.
It said the attack was carried out by the Iran-backed Houthi rebel group, which controls large areas of Yemen.
A government spokesman, Mohsen al-Jahani, said: “One missile from the Houthi side targeted the mosque in the Muharram neighbourhood of Sanaa and the Masbah school, both of which were housing children.”
He added that a 45-year-old woman, who was studying to be a teacher, was among the wounded, as was a 10-year-old girl who was hit in the head, and a teacher’s assistant, both in their 40s.
The attack, the government’s first official confirmation of an attack by the Houthis on a civilian target, was claimed by the rebel-run al-Masirah TV. The broadcaster showed what it said was a missile attack on a mosque in Sanaa.
But Yahani said it was not launched by the Houthis, as was previously assumed. The government spokesman did not elaborate, nor did he say who was responsible for the attack.
The separatists are recognised by the Yemeni government but do not have a government presence in the city and make no visible efforts to consolidate their rule.
Yemen’s war began in 2015 when Houthi rebels, who control the capital Sanaa, ousted the government of the internationally recognised President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.
The Saudi-led coalition began carrying out air strikes in support of Hadi’s government, but the fighting has steadily intensified over the past year.
The Houthis accuse the Saudi-led coalition of bombing their positions, but they have also been accused of responsibility for civilian casualties in the conflict, including in recent attacks on a marketplace and a prison in Sanaa.
The Houthis deny targeting civilians and have accused the coalition of breaking the rules of war by targeting civilians.