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Saudi-led air strikes killed 16 civilians from three families, in overnight raids against Yemen's northern rebel stronghold.

The 16, mostly women and children, were huddled in a basement, in al-Sahn area, when fighter jets bombed their shelter, said the report.

An independent tribal source told Xinhua by phone that, "still hundreds of families were trapped and cannot flee to secure places."

"The war planes hit anything moving on the ground," the source said, on condition of anonymity.

Rescue attempts were hampered by constant air strikes.

The Saudi-led military coalition is battling Shiite Houthi rebels in al-Sahn area, on the outskirts of Saada, the capital city of the province, bearing the same name.

Fighting escalated between the foes inside Yemen, and on the southern border with Saudi Arabia, since United Nations-sponsored peace talks collapsed earlier this month.

As the main stronghold of the Houthis, Saada province is the starting point, from where the Houthi militias advanced and seized control of the capital Sanaa in 2014, forcing the internationally recognised government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, into exile.

A coalition of Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia, started its military intervention in Mar, 2015, to reinstate the Hadi government.

Saudi-led air strikes and fighting on the ground have since killed over 10,000 people, mostly civilians, and displaced three million others.


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