Saudi oil tanker hit in Houthi attack off Yemen

Air Strike Near Yemeni Port Monday Kills 16 People

Supporters of Yemen's Huthi rebels attend a rally to mark three years of war on the country in 2018

On Tuesday, Yemeni forces announced that they attacked a "Saudi-led coalition warship" off the coast of Hudaydah in response to an air strike on Monday which claimed the lives of over 16 civilians, including women and children.

There were conflicting reports on the number of rebels versus civilians killed in the strike, which was believed to have been carried out by the Saudi-led coalition.

In a statement carried by Saudi media, the coalition said the oil tanker was in global waters when it came under "Houthi-Iranian attack" at around 1330 local time (1030 GMT).

The tanker continued on its route "after the rapid intervention of a coalition naval vessel", the statement read.

Several children were among those killed in a strike on the rebel-held Yemeni port of Hodeida on Monday (April 2), the United Nations said, calling it "one of the deadliest attacks" on minors in the country for years.

The security sources said there was no camp for the displaced in the area.

Last week, Saudi air defences intercepted a flurry of missiles, and falling debris caused the first death in the capital Riyadh.

Meanwhile in Geneva, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said a Tuesday conference had collected pledges of more than $2 billion for humanitarian assistance for Yemen.

The coalition says a naval ship belonging to a member country rapidly intervened, without giving further details.

About Saudi Arabia's contradictory action, pledging about $1 billion for Yemen while blocking aid into the country, Guterres said, "Two things need to be seen separately".

"I urge all parties to engage with my new Special Envoy, Martin Griffiths, without delay", he told a United Nations conference in Geneva, where the global body is seeking pledges towards a $3 billion humanitarian plan for Yemen this year.

Speaking at a high-level pledging conference in Geneva held to discuss the crisis in Yemen, Antonio Guterres asked donor countries to provide almost $3 billion in aid to the country where humanitarian access is restricted in 90 percent of districts.

It includes $930 million from Saudi Arabia and the UAE which lead the coalition air strikes.

Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdel-Malek al-Mekhlafi called for a return to the negotiating table and said that his government was working to open ports and airports to aid.

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