Saudi-led coalition blocks United Nations aid flight carrying journalists to Yemen

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An airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition battling Yemeni rebels struck a vehicle packed with fleeing civilians on Tuesday, killing at least 11 people, Yemeni security officials said.

At least seven women and four children were among those killed, they said.

Local sources say that Tuesday's attack targeted an area west of the city of Taiz, where a number of displaced families have sought safety.

Coalition-backed forces recaptured the port of Mokha earlier this year as part of a major ongoing offensive to drive rebels from Yemen's lengthy coastline.

"We have been advocating incessantly for respect of worldwide humanitarian law and protection of civilians in Yemen".

The UN's reporting also came as the Saudi-led coalition blocked a flight destined for Yemen's capital because worldwide journalists were aboard, according to Reuters.

The campaigners want the U.N.to highlight crimes committed by Saudi Arabia in its annual children and armed conflict report, expected to be released next month.

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The Saudi-led coalition has faced repeated criticism over civilian casualties in Yemen.

Dr Abdullah al-Rabeeah, a former Saudi minister and now head of the country's state aid agency, told The Independent "there is no intention whatsoever to bombard or kill civilians".

Separately, UN officials said the coalition barred one of its flights to Yemen's Houthi-controlled capital, Sana'a.

The three BBC reporters were on the flight to cover the United Nations humanitarian operation, but Saudi Arabia warned the plane against taking off from Djibouti with any journalists on board.

According to United Nations estimates, the Saudi coalition has been responsible for at least 3,333 civilians killed in Yemen since the start of U.S. support.

The humanitarian crisis in Yemen, which includes an increasingly worrisome cholera outbreak, has been characterized as the worst in the world.

"We confirm that the coalition cancelled yesterday the Djibouti-Sanaa UN flight because of a BBC team on the manifest, asking for the flight to be rescheduled without the journalists", said Ahmed Ben Lassoued, Yemen spokesman for the UN's humanitarian coordination office, UNOCHA.

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