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  • People gather at the site of Saudi-led air strikes in Arhab area, north of Sanaa, Yemen, on August 23, 2017.

    People gather at the site of Saudi-led air strikes in Arhab area, north of Sanaa, Yemen, on August 23, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

Yemen has suffered more air strikes in the first half of this year than in all of 2016.

The Saudi-led coalition has carried out airstrikes near a Houthi-run checkpoint north of the Yemeni capital Sanaa, hitting a small hotel and killing dozens. 

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Reuters reported that 35 were killed while the Associated Press reported an estimated 60 deaths, citing Yemeni officials. 

The attack took place among several airstrikes carried out by the Saudi-led coalition on Wednesday morning in the town of Arhab, about 22 miles north of Sanaa.

The roof of the two-story hotel collapsed, leaving at least two bodies dangling from the building, a witness said. They also said another airstrike hit a checkpoint manned by the Houthis, a few miles away from the hotel.

Al-Masira TV earlier said at least 30 "martyrs" had been killed, but it was still not clear the exact number of fatalities. 

A medic told Reuters that 35 bodies had been recovered from the rubble and more victims were believed to be inside. Al-Masirah's website reported that 41 people were killed in Arhab, describing the victims as civilians.  

There was no immediate comment from the Saudi-led coalition, which is fighting the Shia-led Houthis in Yemen.

The Houthis, who control Sanaa and northern Yemen, are fighting the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who is backed by the Saudi-led military alliance.

Since March 2015, the Saudi-led coalition has been waging an extensive air campaign against the Houthis. Consequently, they have struck civilian targets, such as schools, hospitals and markets.

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Earlier this month, a senior United Nations official condemned recent reported airstrikes in Yemen, including one on a house containing children, saying they showed "disregard" for civilians' safety.

A report by the Protection Cluster in Yemen last week said Yemen suffered more air strikes in the first half of this year than in all of 2016, increasing the number of civilian deaths and forcing more people to flee their homes.

The number of airstrikes in the first six months of 2017 totaled 5,676, up from 3,936 for all 2016, according to the report.

In total, Yemen's nearly 30-month-old conflict has so far killed over 10,000 civilians and displaced 3 million people.


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