News ID: 187844
Published: 0656 GMT February 17, 2017

Saudi air raid kills nine civilians at Yemen funeral

Saudi air raid kills nine civilians at Yemen funeral

A Saudi airstrike killed eight women and a child at a funeral reception near the Yemeni capital, medics said, adding to the conflict's mounting civilian death toll.

At least 10 other women were wounded in the overnight raid on the district of Arhab, 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Sana’a, medics sent to the site told AFP on Friday.

The United Nations gave the toll as at least six women and one girl killed, with Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, the UN's special envoy to Yemen, branding such attacks on civilians "unjustifiable".

In a statement by the Saudi-led coalition, which has been carrying out airstrikes on Yemen since March 2015, said it was "investigating the reports" that civilians were killed in the raid near Sana’a.

Mohammed al-Nakii, whose home medics said was hit, told an AFP correspondent at the site that at the time of the bombing he had been receiving condolences for his brother who died on Sunday.

He said his own wife was among those killed.

Nakii said he saw four women die immediately at the scene, describing the attack as "barbaric".

The stone building had been totally demolished except for three remaining arches. Bloodstains, clothing and shoes were seen among the rubble.

The Saudi-led Arab coalition has faced repeated allegations of deliberately striking weddings, funerals, schools and hospitals.

In October the coalition admitted to killing 140 people in an airstrike on a funeral in Sana’a, blaming the deaths on "incorrect information". It had initially denied involvement.

"Women and children in particular have been subjected to unspeakable suffering in this brutal conflict," Ould Cheikh Ahmed said in a statement condemning the latest strike. "This should stop immediately."


Red Coast raid

A separate raid Wednesday targeted a military post in Khokha, south of the major Red Sea port of Hodeida, killing 15 Houthi fighters and wounding 20 others.

Khokha lies between Hodeida and Mokha further south on the Red Sea coast.

The Houthis have carried out retaliatory rocket strikes on Saudi Arabia and engaged in firefights along the border since the start of the coalition campaign.

More than 11,000 people, including around 1,400 children, have been killed in two years of fighting in Yemen, according to the UN. Three million others have been displaced.




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