As many as 19 fishermen have reportedly gone missing after a Saudi Arabian airstrike on fishing boats off Yemen’s western coastline, which has come under an unrelenting Saudi-led offensive.
The attack took place off the port city of Hudaydah, near the island of Uqban, Yemen’s al-Masirah television network reported on Friday.
The head of the Yemeni Union of Fishermen said the attack targeted three fishing boats.
There has so far been no report about those still unaccounted for in the aftermath of the attack.
Early this month, at least 55 people were killed after Saudi warplanes hit a hospital and a fishing harbor in Hudaydah.
A separate Saudi aerial attack hit a bus carrying a group of young schoolchildren in Yemen’s Sa’ada province, killing over 50 people, including 40 children.
In March, more than 30 Somali migrants, including children, were killed in the Red Sea when a Saudi military helicopter opened fire on their boat.
Since June, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been waging a massive military campaign to take over Hudaydah through which much of Yemen’s imports reach the impoverished country.
The United Nations and other international bodies have issued serious warnings against the continuation of the attacks, saying they could tip Yemen over the edge of famine.
Saudi Arabia invaded the Arab world’s poorest nation in 2015 to return a former regime to power. The kingdom has also imposed an all-out blockade on Yemen which according to the UN is now the scene of the world’s worst man-made crisis.
On Tuesday, a UN report said the high rate of civilian casualties in aerial assaults by Saudi Arabia and its allies on Yemen “may amount to war crimes.”
The report which was released by the Group of International and Regional Eminent Experts on Yemen raised “serious concerns about the targeting process applied by the [Saudi-led] coalition.”
“Coalition airstrikes have caused most direct civilian casualties. The airstrikes have hit residential areas, markets, funerals, weddings, detention facilities, civilian boats and even medical facilities,” the report said.
Some 15,000 Yemenis have been killed and thousands more injured since the onset of the Saudi-led aggression.
‘Fresh cholera epidemic’
Separately, the UN cautioned on Thursday that Yemen faced a possible third wave of a cholera epidemic.
Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said current rains were increasing the risk of infection in the war-torn country, which has seen 1.1 million suspected cases since last April, AFP reported.
“Between the beginning of the year and mid-August 2018, nearly 120,000 suspected cases have been reported,” he said.
“Although this figure is lower than during the same period in 2017, the increasing rate of infections over recent weeks is raising concerns of a possible third wave of the epidemic,” the official added.
The diarrheal disease has already claimed more than 2,000 lives in Yemen, while the invasion has taken the lives of thousands more.