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Hundreds killed in Yemen funeral strike blamed on coalition

Saudi-led coalition denies air strike on a funeral hall in Sanaa [AFP]

Date of publication: 8 October, 2016

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The coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen deny responsibility for the attack on a funeral home which killed more than 150 people and left 520 wounded.
The Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen has denied bombing a funeral hall in Sanaa killing scores of civilians.

The attack on Saturday has reportedly claimed 155 lives and left more than 500 wounded, according to health ministry officials.

Rebels in control of Yemen's capital accused the Saudi-led coalition supporting the country's internationally-recognised government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, of the attack.

However the coalition said in a statement that "other causes" for the incident must be considered.

It said the alliance "has in the past avoided such gatherings and have never been a subject of targeting".

The insurgent-controlled news site sabanews.net said that coalition planes hit a building in the capital where people had gathered to mourn the death of the father of rebel interior minister Jalal al-Rowaishan, adding that the minister's fate was unknown.

It placed respoonsbility with "Saudi-American aggression", referring to Saudi-led jets.

"The toll is very high: more than 520 wounded and more than 100 martyrs," the spokesman of the health ministry in Sanaa, Tamim al-Shami, told rebel Almasirah television.

Yemen's Houthi rebels swept into Sanaa in September 2014 and advanced across much of the country, forcing Hadi to flee the capital.

More than 6,700 people - most of them civilians - have been killed in Yemen since the coalition intervened in March 2015 in support Hadi, the United Nations says.

The Saudi-led alliance has come under intense scrutiny in recent months over the allegedly high civilian death toll in its aerial campaign.

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