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Kerry speaks to Saudi leaders over Yemen funeral attack: State Department

Kerry spoke with Saudi deputy crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman and foreign minister Adel al Jubeir and said he welcomed bin Salman's commitment 'to launch a thorough and immediate investigation of the strike' Photograph: (Getty)

Reuters Washington, United States Oct 10, 2016, 04.22 AM (IST)

US secretary of state John Kerry spoke with Saudi Arabia's deputy crown prince and foreign minister on Sunday to reiterate the United States' "deep concern" about an air strike on a funeral gathering in Yemen, a State Department spokesman said.

The strike, which was widely blamed on Saudi-led warplanes, prompted the White House on Saturday to announce a review of Washington's support to Saudi Arabia for its 18-month-old campaign in Yemen. The planes hit mourners at a community hall in the capital, Sanaa, on Saturday, killing as many as 140 people, according to one UN estimate and 82, according to the Houthis.

Kerry spoke with Saudi deputy crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman and foreign minister Adel al Jubeir, and said he welcomed Bin Salman's commitment "to launch a thorough and immediate investigation of the strike", according to the statement by State Department spokesman, Mark Toner.

Kerry urged bin Salman to take "urgent steps to ensure such an incident does not happen again", Toner said.

US National Security Council Spokesman, Ned Price, said in a statement that the US will reevaluate its support for the coalition.

"In light of this and other recent incidents, we have initiated an immediate review of our already significantly reduced support to the Saudi-led coalition, and are prepared to adjust our support so as to better align with US principles, values and interests, including achieving an immediate and durable end to Yemen's tragic conflict."

(WION with inputs from Reuters)

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