Saudi Arabia bars BBC reporting team from Yemen

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Saudi Arabia bars BBC reporting team from Yemen

United Nations "deeply disappointed" by attack that killed at least 20 civilians who had fled fighting in country's southwest.

As many as 362,545 suspected cholera cases and 1,817 related deaths have been reported in 91.3 per cent of Yemeni governorates and 88 percent of its districts, said a World Health Organization report on July 19.

It notes that most of those killed in the airstrike are believed to have been from the same family. It gave no further details on the attack.

The coalition, backed by the U.S., initially launched an aerial bombing campaign against Shiite Houthi rebels in March 2015 followed by a ground operation.

Yemen's human rights minister, Mohammed Askar, on Tuesday called for a government investigation into what he described as an "unfortunate incident", while Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdul-Salam condemned the attack as a "monstrous crime". However, they "continue to be exposed to danger as the conflict has affected all of Yemen's mainland governorates", UNHCR said in its statement Tuesday.

Earlier, the officials said the family was fleeing from the fighting raging in the province.

"[Children] are facing threats from all sides, they've got the threat of airstrikes from above, which are continuous - just in the past few weeks we've seen [bombs] landing on marketplaces where civilians have been killed", Caroline Anning, senior conflict and humanitarian advocacy adviser at Save the Children, said to the Guardian.

More than two years of war between the Saudi-led coalition and the armed Iran-aligned Houthi group has claimed more than 10,000 lives in Yemen. Their bombings have included targeting schools, hospitals and private homes.

More than 8,160 people have been killed and 46,300 injured in airstrikes and fighting in Yemen since the Saudi-led coalition began its onslaught in 2015, according to United Nations figures. The UN was critical of the move, saying that journalists need access to Yemen to cover the "large man-made humanitarian problem" there.

"It is necessary to work closely to contain the cholera epidemic and prevent its outbreak in more Yemeni provinces and cities to avoid a possible humanitarian crisis whose consequences may last for years to come", said the AL chief in the statement.

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