In Yemen, 34 civilians killed in bombing of water bottling factory

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Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition fighting Houthi rebels

A coalition spokesman says the rebels were making explosive devices at the factory

CNN  — 

A Saudi-led airstrike on a water bottling factory in Yemen on Sunday left 34 people dead and dozens injured, the Houthi-run Yemeni Defense Ministry said.

The Houthi rebels are acting as the government in Yemen, while the internationally recognized government is in exile.

Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asseri, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition against the rebels, said the bombing target was used by the Houthis to make explosive devices and to train African migrants forced to take up arms.

“There is no factory, we attacked a military camp in Hajjah where they train mercenaries to send them to kill our soldiers,” he told CNN.

Yemeni Defense Ministry spokesman Sharaf Luqman said the attack occurred in the Abs district of Hajjah province.

The coalition led by the Saudis started bombing Yemen in March. It also includes the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Pakistan and Sudan.

The Saudis say they want to restore the Yemeni government, a key U.S. ally in the fight against al Qaeda, which was kicked out of the capital by Houthi rebels this year.

Journalist Hakim Almasmari contributed to this report.