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Yemen: Saudi-led air strikes on funeral 'kill 82' in Sanaa

People stand at the site of an airstrike which witnesses said was by Saudi-led coalition aircraft at a hall where a wake was being held in Sanaa. Photograph: (Reuters)

WION Sanaa, Yemen Oct 08, 2016, 07.07 PM (IST)

Houthi rebels in control of the Yemeni capital of Sana'a have accused the Saudi-led coalition fighting against them of killing dozens and wounding hundreds in air strikes during a funeral on Saturday attended by senior officials. 

 

Reuters has quoted the acting health minister in the Houthi-led administration saying that at least 82 people have died and 534 were wounded. 

Rebel Almasirah television reported that Sana'a mayor Abdel Qader Hilal was among those killed. 

According to AFP, emergency workers have pulled out at least 20 charred remains and body parts from the gutted building and the search is on for more survivors.

The bodies were either completely burned or in pieces, and some of the wounded had their legs torn off and were being treated on the spot by volunteers, AFP reported.

The rebel-controlled news site sabanews.net said that the coalition jets hit a building in southern Sana'a where hundreds were mourning the death of the father of an influential local official.

The airstrikes have come in at a time when Saudi Arabia is under increasing international scrutiny over allegations of civilian deaths in it’s air raids.

"A plane fired a missile and minutes later another plane pounded the building," an eyewitness told AFP.

A security source, quoted by the rebel website, said a fire tore through the building after the strikes.

According to Reuters, eyewitnesses described ambulances ferrying casualties from the scene, where a plume of black smoke rose into the sky. 

The Iran-backed Houthis swept into Sana'a in September 2014 and advanced across much of Yemen, forcing the internationally recognised government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to flee the capital

According to the UN, more than 6,700 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in Yemen since the coalition intervened in support of Hadi.


 

(WION with inputs from agencies)

 

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