Tuesday 21 November 2017

Thousands march in Yemen as air strike kills 140 in packed funeral hall

Medics carry the body of a victim of a Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Sanaa, Yemen
Medics carry the body of a victim of a Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Sanaa, Yemen

Ahmed al-Haj

Thousands of Yemenis marched in the capital Sanaa yesterday to protest a Saudi-led coalition airstrike a day earlier that hit a funeral hall packed with hundreds of mourners, killing over 140 people.

The casualty toll, given by a UN official, also mentioned over 525 wounded in what was one of the deadliest single attacks of the country's civil war.

Hundreds of body parts were found strewn in and outside the hall after the attack. Some of the demonstrators who marched outside the UN building in southern Sanaa blamed the organisation for not ending the conflict.

Protesters brandished automatic weapons and called on people from the region to attack Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi military announced early yesterday that it would launch an investigation into "reports about the regrettable and painful bombing" without acknowledging that it is the only force with air power in the conflict.

It is the latest in a string of bombings by the coalition that have struck hospitals, markets and other places where civilians congregate.

"The place has been turned into a lake of blood," said one rescuer, Murad Tawfiq.

Yemeni officials said the dead and wounded included military and security officials from the ranks of the Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, and their allies, loyalists of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The rebel alliance is battling the internationally-recognised government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Irish Independent

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