Coalition strike kills Yemen judge and 7 family members

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Yemenis walk past the site of a Saudi-led airstrike that targeted a building in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on January 25, 2016

Yemenis walk past the site of a Saudi-led airstrike that targeted a building in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on January 25, 2016 (AFP Photo/Mohammed Huwais )

Sanaa (AFP) - A Saudi-led coalition strike killed a senior Yemeni judge and seven members of his family at their home in the rebel-controlled capital Sanaa, a relative said Monday.

"Judge Yehia Mohammed Rubaid, his son, three women, and three children where killed when a missile hit their home," his nephew Ahmed Mohammed told reporters.

Speaking in front of the debris of the destroyed house in central Sanaa, Mohammed said the attack was carried out overnight by coalition jets, which have been pounding rebels almost daily since March last year.

He said his uncle had presided over a court specialised in "terrorism cases" which tries suspects accused of links to Al-Qaeda.

Meanwhile, a Yemeni reporter has died of wounds sustained in an air strike by coalition warplanes on northern Yemen, the Reporters Without Borders group said.

Hashem Homrane, who worked for the Huthis' Almasirah television station, died on Friday from injuries he received in an air strike the day before on Dhahian in Saada province, the Paris-based group said.

The watchdog known by its French acronym RSF cited local media as saying Homrane was wounded while preparing a report on the damage caused by air strikes on the town.

"The situation for journalists is becoming extremely worrying in an increasingly hostile environment for freedom of information," said Alexandra el-Khazen, head of RSF's Middle East desk.

"We remind all parties to the conflict that they are responsible for the safety of journalists and that crimes of violence against them must not go unpunished. RSF also calls for the release of all journalists and media workers held by armed groups," she said.

Last week, Al-Jazeera correspondent Hamdi al-Bokari, his colleague Abdulaziz al-Sabri and driver Munir al-Subaie went missing in the flashpoint southwestern city of Taez.

Their car was found abandoned in the city centre last Monday.

RSF said earlier that at least five journalists were killed in Yemen last year.

The Iran-backed Huthi rebels have controlled Sanaa since September 2014, when they swept down from their northern highlands unopposed before expanding across other parts of the country.

They have been met by resistance from local pro-government militiamen and loyalist troops backed by coalition weapons and forces which have recaptured several southern provinces.

More than 5,800 people have been killed in Yemen since last March, about half of them civilians, according to the United Nations.