Nine women and a child reported killed in Yemeni air strike

Residents say dozens injured in attack by Saudi-led coalition on house north of Sana’a

People  at the site on Thursday of a Saudi-led air strike that struck a house where mourners had gathered for a funeral near Yemen’s capital,  Sana’a. Photograph: Mohamed al-Sayaghi/Reuters

People at the site on Thursday of a Saudi-led air strike that struck a house where mourners had gathered for a funeral near Yemen’s capital, Sana’a. Photograph: Mohamed al-Sayaghi/Reuters

 

Nine women and a child were killed in an air strike on a house in Yemen where mourners were gathered, local residents reported on Thursday.

The strike on the house near Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, was carried out by military aircraft deployed by a Saudi-led coalition. Dozens were reportedly injured in the incident. The coalition said it was investigating reports of civilian casualties in the area.

The air strike hit the house of a local tribal leader in Ashira, a village north of Sana’a, on Wednesday night, a resident said. Mourners had gathered there to offer condolences after a woman had died.

“People heard the sound of planes and started running from the house but then the bombs hit the house directly. The roof collapsed. Blood was everywhere,” a second resident of Ashira, who gave his name as Hamid Ali, told a Reuters cameraman.

Pictures published by local media showed tribesmen searching through the rubble of a destroyed house said to belong to Mohammed al-Nakaya, a tribal leader allied with Yemen’s Houthi movement.

One showed a man kneeling in the dust cradling the body of an elderly woman.

It was not immediately possible to verify the authenticity of the pictures.

“We are aware of media reports that Houthi rebels are claiming that Yemeni civilians were killed in an air raid overnight near Sana’a,” the Saudi-led coalition said in statement.

“There has been fighting between Yemeni armed forces and rebels in this area in recent days. We are investigating the reports.”

Funeral attack

In October the alliance of mainly Gulf Arab states was heavily criticised after launching an air strike on a funeral gathering in Sana’a that killed 140 people, according to one UN estimate.

The death toll from that strike was one of the highest in any single incident since the alliance began military operations in March 2015 to try to restore the administration of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, whom the Houthis had ousted.

The White House said after the October funeral attack that it might consider cutting its support to the Saudi-led campaign, which has been providing air support for Mr Hadi’s forces in a civil war that has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced millions.

The alliance, which says it does not target civilians, blamed the October attack on incorrect information it said it had received from the Yemeni military that armed Houthi leaders were in the area.

Reuters