Saudis investigate Yemen bus attack against children as death toll increases

The Arab military coalition led by Saudi Arabia says it will investigate an air strike that killed dozens of children in Yemen, an apparent change of stance in an attack that Riyadh has portrayed as a legitimate action against his Houthi enemies.

At least 40 children were killed in Thursday's strike on a bus in northern Yemen, said the armed Houthi group that controls Yemen's capital.

That raised the number of victims of children killed in the attack since 29.

The strike of the alliance backed by the West of the Arab countries outraged human rights groups and was strongly condemned by UN officials.

Henrietta Fore, executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), said the "horrible" attack marked "a low point in the brutal war (of Yemen)."

The people in Saada started digging graves in preparation for the funerals that will take place on Saturday.

"God can give us patience," said Hussein Hussein Tayeb, who lost three children on the bus, on a trip with other students to visit a mosque and tombs.

The UN chief, Antonio Guterres, called for an independent investigation of the attack that hit the bus while driving through a market in Dahyan, in Houthis' home province of Saada.

The Security Council of the UN urged a "credible and transparent" investigation.

The Arab states carried out new air strikes on Friday, killing a girl and injuring other people whose home was in Marib province, east of the capital, Sanaa, said the television channel al-Masirah de Houthis.

In announcing the investigation into the bus attack, the Saudi news agency quoted an official from the alliance as saying: "The coalition is firmly committed to investigating all claims about errors or violations of international law, punishing those who caused these. incidents and provide assistance to the victims ".

The Arab alliance led by Saudi Arabia has been fighting for three years to expel the Houthis, fighters aligned with Iran that drove out a Saudi-backed government from the capital in 2014.

A Yemeni is near a destroyed bus on the site of an air strike led by Saudi Arabia a day after he hit the bus carrying children

A Yemeni is near a destroyed bus on the site of an air strike led by Saudi Arabia a day after he hit the bus carrying children

AAP

The Arab states initially said the air strikes on the bus were "legitimate military actions" against the missile launchers.

Houthi's Al-Masirah TV quoted the group's health minister, Taha Mutawakil, as saying that the estimated number of victims was 51, including 40 children and at least 79 people injured, of whom 56 were children.

The International Committee of the Red Cross reported the same number on Friday, citing authorities in Saada.

On Thursday, he said on his Twitter account that his medical team at the hospital supported by the ICRC in Saada had received the bodies of 29 children, all under the age of 15. The hospital also received 48 wounded, including 30 children.