YEMEN’S Shiite rebels have backed a UN call for a probe into a Saudi-led coalition air strike that may have killed more than 60 people, including children.

Senior Yemeni rebel leader Mohammed Ali al-Houthi said on Twitter that the rebels – known as Houthis – welcome the call and are willing to co-operate in an investigation of the strike in Saada province that hit a bus carrying civilians, many of them school children, in a busy market in the Dahyan district.

The United Nations said the death toll has yet to be confirmed but reports point to more than 60 casualties, with dozens severely wounded. The rebel-run Al Masirah TV reported at least 51 killed and 79 wounded in the strike, citing the Yemeni Health Ministry, which is under rebel control.

Following the strike, Al Masirah broadcast horrific images of lifeless bodies of children, covered in blood, and others who appeared severely wounded, lying on hospital stretchers crying and screaming in pain. The authenticity of the footage could not be verified.

The Saudi-led coalition said the attack was in response to a missile fired by the rebels a day earlier.

The coalition said it had intercepted and destroyed the missile but its fragments killed one person and wounded 11 others in the Saudi region of Jizan.