At least 30 Somali refugees have been killed in unknown missile strike in Southern Yemen on a convoy fleeing the violence, a diplomat has confirmed.
A missile hit a convoy of the refugees who were travelling to the port city of Aden from their camp on Sunday, says the Somali Consular to Yemen Osman Ahmed based in the port town of Aden.
It is unclear where the missile was fired from as conflicting reports emerged since the tragedy occurred on Sunday.
‘’ The two buses opted to use another route which is not the main road and they were caught by some forces….. Moments after a missile struck them and it is unknown whether it was an airstrike or fired from the sea,’’ he said in an interview with the VOA Somali service.
Among the dead are women and small children who were on their way to escape the violence by boats, according to reports.
The attack highlights the risk of worsening civilian casualties in what is becoming a full-scale civil war in this impoverished Arabian Peninsula country. Already, scores of Somali people have been killed in fighting since the coalition operation was launched.
It is the highest number of Somali citizens killed once in the conflict.
The fortunate Somalis who are able to escape the violence are taking speedboats and ferries across the Gulf of Aden to Somalia and other neighbouring African countries where refugee camps are already stretched thin, while the Federal government has failed to implement its pledges that it will evacuate the stranded citizens.
Yemen has been imploding since 2011, the scenario got worse in the past six month as a war for political dominance intensified between two sects, namely Sunni and Zaidi Shia.
Saudi Arabia stepped in trying to prevent the attempt by Zaidi Shia backed by Iran to take control of the country.
Yemeni president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi fled Sanaa in February when the Houti rebels strengthened and made their presence known in the capital.