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Coalition airstrikes kill over 32 in Yemeni capital

January 30, 2016

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Airstrikes by a Saudi-led coalition targeting Yemen’s Shiite rebels killed over 32 people overnight including at least eight civilians in the capital, Sanaa, officials said on Saturday.

The airstrikes appeared to target a rebel camp and factories producing food and plastic in northern and western Sanaa, the security and medical officials said.

Yemen has been torn by conflict since 2014, when Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, allied with a former president captured large swaths of the country, including Sanaa, which they took in September that year.

The Saudi-led coalition launched its air campaign against the rebels in March 2015. Since then, more than 5,800 people have been killed and over 80 percent of Yemen’s population is in dire need of food, water and other aid, according to the United Nations.

Also Saturday, the Houthis detained several activists and critics including a local journalist in Sanaa, security officials said. The detentions are part of a Houthi crackdown on activists and journalists, they added.

Saturday’s round-up came shortly after the rebels released three Al-Jazeera journalists they had kidnapped in the war-devastated western city of Taiz.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to reporters. They remain neutral in the conflict that has splintered the Arab world’s poorest country.

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