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Two dead in air strike on Yemen film set — security official

By AFP - Apr 12,2018 - Last updated at Apr 12,2018

SANAA, Yemen — An air raid struck the set of a rebel TV series in Yemen on Thursday, killing at least two people, a security source and a rights activist said.

The strike on Marawiaa district in the western province of Hodeida came as a cast and crew were filming a Ramadan series for Houthi rebel-run Al Masirah television, they said.

The set was on a farm that had belonged to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, a one-time rebel ally who was gunned down by the Houthis in December after their partnership collapsed.

Multiple military vehicles, including two tanks, were on the property at the time of the attack, the sources told AFP.

A Saudi-led coalition has been battling the Houthis, seen by Riyadh as Iranian proxies, since 2015. 

The security source said Thursday's attack was one of a string of strikes in Hodeida province, which he attributed to Saudi-led forces.

"We take this report seriously, it will be investigated," a coalition spokesman told AFP, saying it would be "inappropriate to comment further" while the probe is ongoing.

The coalition had previously targeted Saleh's residence in Sanaa when the strongman was alive and allied with the Houthis.

A Yemeni photographer at the site of Thursday's raids said the victims were the series' set designer and finance director.

The Yemen war has created what the United Nations has called the world's largest humanitarian crisis.

It has killed nearly 10,000 people since 2015, when the coalition joined the government's fight against the Houthis. 

While all sides in the war stand accused of failing to protect civilians, the Saudi-led coalition has drawn particularly harsh condemnation from international rights groups over civilian deaths.

It was added to a UN blacklist last year for the killing and maiming of children. 

The Houthis have in recent months intensified missile strikes on Saudi Arabia, declaring this week that 2018 would be the "year of ballistics". 

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