AI Alerts against Bombing of Yemeni Schools by Riyadh-Led Coalition

Featured AI Alerts against Bombing of Yemeni Schools by Riyadh-Led Coalition

LONDON - Amnesty International, or AI, said Thursday the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, which is attacking Houthis in Yemen, has bombed several schools in recent months.

The coalition bombed at least five schools between August and October 2015, killing five civilians and injuring 14 others, including four children, according to an investigation by AI.

It urged that these five attacks must be investigated "independently and impartially" and that those responsible must be "held accountable."

"While students were not present inside the schools during the attacks, the strikes caused serious damage or destruction which will have long-term consequences for students," Lama Fakih, Senior Crisis Advisor at AI said in a statement issued from the London headquarters of the organization.

AI stressed that attacking non-military public buildings is a "flagrant violation of the laws of war."

"Schools are central to civilian life, they are meant to offer a safe space for children. Yemen's young school pupils are being forced to pay the price for these attacks. On top of enduring a bitter conflict, they face longer term upheaval and disruption to their education," said Fakih.

She also said that some schools have been attacked on more than one occasion, suggesting a "deliberate" objective.

According to estimates by the humanitarian organization, more than 6,500 Yemeni children in the towns of Hajjah, Al Hudaydah and Sana'a have been affected by these bombings.

"Regardless of the outcome of planned peace talks next week it is crucial that independent investigations into these and other unlawful strikes are undertaken," said the statement.

Countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council and other Arab States, led by Saudi Arabia, launched an offensive in March in Yemen in support of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and against Houthi rebels, engulfing the country in a major humanitarian crisis.

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