Saudi-led coalition helicopter attack kills 25 civilians in Yemen village – residents, medics
Smoke rises from the site of a Saudi-led air strike in Yemen's capital Sanaa September 18, 2015. The air raids by a Saudi-led coalition have intensified in recent weeks as a Gulf Arab ground force and fighters loyal to exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi prepare a campaign to recapture Sanaa, seized by the Houthis in September 2014. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

SANAA, Sept 27 (Reuters) – Air strikes by helicopters from a Saudi-led alliance killed 25 civilians in a Yemeni village on Sunday, residents and medics said, adding that most of the victims were women and children.

“People were fleeing their homes as the helicopters pursued, They committed a massacre for no reason,” one resident, who called himself Khaled, told Reuters by phone.

The incident in the village of Bani Zela, in Yemen’s Red Sea border area with Saudi Arabia, comes a day after the kingdom announced that three of its officers, including a general, had been killed along the frontier.

An Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia has been pounding the Iran-allied Houthi militia in Yemenfrom the air for six months, trying to eject the group from the capital Sanaa and restore President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to power.

The campaign has resulted in several mass killings of civilians, including 36 people at a water bottling plant in August and 25 workers at a milk factory in April.

The attack on Bani Zela may signal an escalation in combat along the border. The target of the strikes was unclear and a spokesman for the alliance could not be immediately reached for comment.

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