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Saturday, 8 October 2016

Scores killed in Saudi-led airstrike on Yemen funeral

An airstrike by a Saudi-led coalition on Saturday targeted a funeral hall packed with mourners in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, killing at least 82 people and turning the site into a "lake of blood," according to a senior Health Ministry official.

Nasser al-Argaly, the Health Ministry's undersecretary, told a news conference that the strike also left 534 people wounded. The casualty figures were not final, he added.

Yemeni security and medical officials said the dead and wounded include military and security officials from the ranks of the Shiite Houthi rebels fighting the internationally-recognized government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi as well as their allies, loyalists of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Among those killed was Maj-Gen. Abdul-Qader Hilal, head of the capital's local council, according to the officials. Saturday's funeral was held for Sheikh Ali al-Rawishan, father of Galal al-Rawishan, the interior minister in the rebel-led government. Galal Al-Rishwan was seriously wounded in the attack.

In the aftermath of the strike, hundreds of body parts were found strewn in and outside the hall. Rescuers collected them in sacks.

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

Ambulances rushed to the site to ferry the wounded to hospitals. In radio broadcasts, the Health Ministry summoned off-duty doctors and called on residents to donate blood. Rescuers, meanwhile, sifted through the rubble in search of more casualties, but a fire that erupted hindered their work.

Mohammed Abdul-Salam, the Houthis' spokesman in Sanaa, angrily denounced the airstrike as the latest act of "genocide" by the Saudi-led coalition.

"The silence of the United Nations and the international community is the munition of the murderers," he said. "Those murderers will not escape divine justice."
 france24.com/AP
8/10/16

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