Yemenis hold mass funeral for 22 killed in Saudi-led airstrikes
SANAA, March 14 – Thousands of Yemenis gathered on Thursday in the historical Old City of the capital Sanaa for the funeral of 22 people killed in the Saudi-led coalition airstrikes.
According to local residents and medics, the warplanes targeted several houses in the embattled district of Kushar in the Yemeni northwestern province of Hajjah on Sunday.
Lise Grande, UN humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, said the airstrikes killed 10 women and 12 children and wounded 30 others including 14 under the age of 18.
“Many of the injured children have been sent to hospitals … for treatment and several require possible evacuation to survive,” Grande said in a statement.
Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV, however, said the Houthis were behind the attack.
The bodies were moved to Sanaa for burial because of the ongoing clashes in Kushar between the Houthi group and Saudi-allied local tribesmen.
Crowds chanted against the airstrikes and Saudi Arabia which supports the fight of the Yemeni government against Houthi rebels.
According to a recent report by the International Crisis Group, the fighting in Kushar erupted in January after the previously neutral Hajour tribe shifted loyalties.
Hajour tribesmen set up checkpoints along a key highway and detained Houthi members, sparking the violence.
Kushar is about 25 km east of Haradh, a Yemeni embattled district bordering Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia is leading a military coalition that intervened in Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to restore President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to power after Houthis forced him into exile and seized much of the country’s north.
The four-year war has killed tens of thousands of civilians, displaced 3 million others, and pushed the country to the brink of famine. – XINHUA