Saudi Arabia coalition vows Yemen probe after 140 Killed in attack

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Dubai:The Saudi-led coalition bogged down in a conflict with Yemeni rebels said it will start an “immediate investigation” after more than 140 Yemenis were killed in an attack on a funeral hall in the capital Sana’a.The investigation team will seek to use US expertise, according to a statement carried by the officialSaudi Press Agency. “The results would be announced once the investigation is over.” The coalition’s command “stresses that its forces have clear rules not to target civilian positions,” it said.Yemeni media controlled by the Shiite Houthi rebels posted photos of the destroyed hall and medics removing dead bodies from the scene and blamed the coalition for the strike. One photo showed several people buried under rubble. More than 525 people were wounded in the attack, the United Nations said in a statement, citing initial reports from Yemeni health officials.‘Enough is Enough’“I call for a swift, transparent and impartial investigation into this incident to ensure accountability,” the UN’s under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, said in a statement. “I also call on all parties to protect civilians and stop using explosive weapons or conducting aerial bombardments in civilian-populated places inYemen. Surely enough is enough.”Saudi Arabia, the champion of Sunni Islam in the Middle East, assembled a military coalition in March of last year to help restore the rule of Yemeni President Abdurabuh Mansur Hadi. The campaign began with airstrikes, followed by the deployment of troops from Saudi Arabia and the United ArabEmirates.Long a strategic ally in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is facing international condemnation for the Yemen war. It faced bipartisan criticism in Congress for using American weapons in Yemen, though the Senate blocked a measure to prevent a $1.15 billion arms sale last month. UK Prime Minister Theresa May said this month she has asked the kingdom to probe allegations that British-made weapons have been used in its military intervention.While the Houthis and their allies have lost control of southern Yemen after 18 months of bombardment, they still hold Sana’a and have been launching regular attacks on Saudi Arabia’s southern borders. About 3,799 civilians were killed in the conflict between March 2015 and 23 August, 2016, according to a recent UN report.“This attack took place against the backdrop of a desperately worsening humanitarian situation across Yemen, with four out of everyfive of Yemen’s 28 million people in real and immediate need of assistance,” O’Brien said in the statement.Among the dead was Abdulkader Hilal, the mayor of Sana’a and a leader in the party of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Houthis’ main ally, local media reported.Bloomberg



courtesy------ hindustan times

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Saudi Arabia coalition vows Yemen probe after 140 Killed in attack
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