At least 20 Indian nationals have reportedly been killed, in Saudi-led coalition airstrikes, on fuel smugglers, in Yemen.
A Saudi-led alliance killed at least 20 Indian nationals in air strikes on fuel smugglers at a Yemeni port on Tuesday, fishermen said, and more foreign troops were reported to be arriving to intensify the campaign against Houthi forces.
The Houthi-run state news agency Saba also said that 15 citizens were killed in air strikes on Sana’a, and medical sources said at least 15 civilians were killed in similar attacks on Monday. It was not immediately possible to independently verify the figures.
The alliance, made up mainly of Gulf Arab countries,
has increased air strikes on Sanaa and other parts of the country since Friday, when a Houthi missile attack killed at least 60 Saudi, Bahraini and United Arab Emirates soldiers at a military camp east of Sana’a.
They were part of a force preparing to assault the capital, which the Iranian-allied Houthis seized last September.
Friday’s attack was the deadliest yet for Gulf soldiers in the war and may herald a turning point as Saudi-allied countries appear to be committing to a ground war they had so far avoided.
In western Yemen, local residents and fishermen said planes from the Saudi-led alliance struck two boats at al-Khokha, a small port near Hodeidah used by Indians to smuggle badly needed fuel supplies into the country, killing 20 of them.
Officials were not immediately available to comment on the report.
Qatari-owned Al Jazeera TV reported that the number of forces deployed by the alliance had risen to 10,000.
A Yemeni military official denied any foreign reinforcements had arrived on Tuesday and a source close to the exiled Yemeni government, now based in Riyadh, said he believed the number of foreign troops reported by al Jazeera might be exaggerated.
Al Jazeera on Monday said that 1,000 Qatari soldiers had crossed the al-Wadia border crossing from Saudi Arabia.
“A second contingent of Qatari soldiers has entered the al-Wadia border crossing,” an Al Jazeera correspondent in southern Saudi Arabia was quoted as saying.