Saudi-led coalition airstrike hits Yemen funeral, kills 82

SANA, Yemen — An airstrike by a Saudi-led coalition on Saturday targeted a funeral hall packed with mourners in Yemen’s capital, Sana, killing at least 82 people, according to the Health Ministry.

Nasser al-Argaly, the Health Ministry’s undersecretary, said the strike also left 534 people wounded. He said the casualty figures were not final.

Yemeni security and medical officials said the dead and wounded include military and security officials from the ranks of the Shi’ite Houthi rebels fighting the internationally-
recognized 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.


The Health Ministry summoned off-duty doctors and called on residents to donate blood. Rescuers sifted through the rubble in search of more casualties, but a fire that erupted hindered their work.

Mohammed Abdul-Salam, a spokesman for the Houthis in Sana, angrily denounced the airstrike as the latest act of ‘‘genocide’’ by the Saudi-led coalition.

‘‘The silence of the United Nations and the international community is the munition of the murderers,’’ he said.

Saturday’s funeral was held for Sheikh Ali al-Rawishan, father of Interior Minister Galal al-Rawishan, an ally of both the Houthis and Saleh.

The Saudi coalition backs Hadi’s government which, together with its own allies, is fighting the Houthis and Saleh loyalists in a civil war that broke out in 2014. The UN estimates 3,800 civilians have been killed by the airstrikes, which began in March 2015.