Attack on mourners in Yemen kills over 140
US rubukes raid, threatens to cut support for Saudi-led campaign
REUTERS/ Saudi-led warplanes struck a funeral at a community hall in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, the country’s Houthi-run administration said on Saturday, but the coalition denied any role in the attack.
More than 140 mourners were killed, according to local health officials cited by the United Nations, in an attack that prompted a strong rebuke from Washington, a key Saudi ally.
Jamie McGoldrick, a UN official in charge of humanitarian efforts in the country, said more than 525 were in- jured. The death toll was 82, according to Ghazi Ismail, the administration’s acting health minister. The reason for the discrepancy in numbers was not immediately clear.
Ismail said the airstrike occurred in the southern part of the city, where a wake was taking place for the father of the administration’s Interior minister, Jalal al-Roweishan, who died of natural causes on Friday.
The death toll was one of the largest in any single incident since the Saudi-led alliance began military operations to try to restore President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to power following his removal by the Iranaligned Houthis in March 2015.
“The Saudi aggression committed a major crime today, by attacking a mourning hall for the al-Roweishan family, targeting residents in the hall,” Ismail told a news conference in Sanaa.
In a strongly worded rebuke, the White House said it may consider cutting its support to the Saudi-led military campaign.
The site of an airstrike said to be by Saudi-led coalition aircraft on mourners at a hall where a wake for the father of Jalal al Roweishan, Interior minister in the Houthi-dominated Yemeni government, was being held in Sanaa on Saturday