Attack hits mourners in Yemen, killing nine women

Reuters | Published: 15:50, Feb 16,2017

 
 
Yemen-Saudi clash

Smoke rises from the community hall where Saudi-led warplanes struck a funeral in Sanaa.--Reuters photo

Warplanes of the Saudi-led coalition struck a house north of Yemen's capital on Wednesday where mourners had gathered to offer condolences after a woman died, residents said, killing nine women and one child and injuring dozens.

The air strike hit the house of a local tribal leader in the Arhab district north of Sanaa on Wednesday night, a resident told Reuters.

A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen could not be immediately reached for comment.

‘People heard the sound of planes and started running from the house but then the bombs hit the house directly. The roof collapsed. Blood was everywhere,’ a resident of the village, Ashira, told a Reuters cameraman on Thursday.

Pictures published in local media showed tribesmen searching through the rubble of a destroyed house said to belong to Mohammed al-Nakaya, a tribal chief allied with Yemen's Houthi movement.

Another picture showed a man kneeling in the dust with the corpse of an elderly woman in his arms.

It was not immediately possible to verify the authenticity of the pictures.

In October the alliance of mainly Gulf Arab states came under severe criticism after launching an air strike on a funeral gathering in Sanaa that killed 140 people, according to one UN estimate.

The death toll from that strike was one of the highest in any single incident since the Saudi-led alliance began military operations in March 2015 to try to restore president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to power following his ousting by the Iran-aligned Houthis.

The White House at the time said it may consider cutting its support to the Saudi-led military campaign which has been providing air support for Hadi's forces in a civil war that has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced millions.

The coalition, which says it does not target civilians, blamed the October funeral attack on incorrect information it said it received from Yemeni military figures that armed Houthi leaders were in the area.

 

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