Yemen ready for United Nations talks as Houthi attacks kill 26

Saudi-led coalition says Houthi behind killing of civilians in Hodeidah, Yemen

Pic credit AFPAt least 26 people were killed and dozens critically injured in the Air strikes by Saudi led coalition on a fishing port and fish market in the Yemeni city of Hodeidah.

Earlier on Friday, the UN's humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, Lise Grande, voiced shock at the strike on the Al-Thawra hospital, saying it had put the cholera response at risk.

"The Arab Coalition did not conduct any operations in Hodeidah today", Al Malki said.

"This crime is not the first one committed by the Houthi militias against civilians in Hodeidah or elsewhere by indiscriminate bombing of residential neighbourhoods", he said.

For a little more than three years, Yemen has been locked in a seemingly intractable civil war that has killed almost 10,000 people - two-thirds of them civilians - and pushed millions to the brink of starvation, according to the United Nations. The coalition has taken control of the airport and not the seaport, Al Jazeera reported.

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The spokesman presented evidence including pictures he said showed the Houthi mortars used in the attack and maps of Hodeidah showing coalition targets in relation to the location of the hospital.

The U.N. envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, on Thursday told the Security Council that the United Nations will invite Yemen's warring sides for talks in Geneva on September 6 to discuss a framework for peace negotiations.

They also denounced the abduction of a group of women by mercenaries supported by Saudi Arabia in Tahita district in the port city on July 29.

"This is shocking", said Lise Grande, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen.

According to John Ging, director of the Operational Division at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 75 percent of Yemen's population, or roughly 22 million people, are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection.

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The Center also called for "full compliance with the provisions of worldwide humanitarian law", saying Houthis were in violation of this following the attack which killed dozens of civilians.

Saudi Arabia and its allies joined Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi's fight against the Huthis in 2015.

Save the Children estimated that 6238 people - half of them children - leave Hodeida on average "every single day".

The UN had been trying to broker a deal to avert an attack on Hodeidah by the Saudi alliance due to fears it would further hinder Yemenis' access to food, fuel and medicine; worsening the world's most urgent humanitarian crisis.

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