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Saudi-led coalition airstrike hits Yemen funeral, kills 82

Published:Sunday | October 9, 2016 | 10:00 AM
Medics search for bodies under the rubble of a funeral hall that was targeted by a Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Sanaa, Yemen, yesterday.

SANAA, Yemen (AP):

An airstrike by a Saudi-led coalition yesterday 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 recognised government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, as well as their allies, loyalists of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Among those killed was Major General Abdul-Qader Hilal, head of the capital's local council, according to the officials.

Yesterday'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 strike left the building little more than a shell, with most of its walls and roof gone. Cars parked outside were mangled by the blast.