Saudi-led coalition admits air raid on funeral


RIYADH: The Saudi-led coalition battling Yemeni rebels said Saturday that one of its warplanes had “wrongly targeted” a funeral in the capital Sanaa, killing more than 140 people, and announced disciplinary measures.

The team investigating the funeral raid said a coalition aircraft “wrongly targeted” the ceremony based on “incorrect information”.

“Appropriate action… must be taken against those who caused the incident, and…compensation must be offered to the families of the victims,” it said.

It also called on coalition commanders to change their procedures to prevent any repeat of the failings that led to the strike.

The coalition had initially denied responsibility but ordered an investigation after Western condemnation, including from Saudi Arabia’s closest allies.

A statement from the coalition said it accepted the results of the investigation and expressed “its regret at this unintentional incident and the ensuing pain for victims’ families”.

The announcement came as an Omani aircraft evacuated from Sanaa more than 100 of the most seriously wounded in the October 8 strike, which injured at least 525 people and sparked international condemnation.

Muscat also said that it had mediated the release of two American citizens held in Yemen and flew them to Oman on Saturday night on the same relief flight.

US Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed the release but said it was too early to reveal their identities.

Meanwhile, Britain is to present a draft resolution to the UN Security Council next week calling for an immediate ceasefire in Yemen, after an earlier text condemning the funeral bombing was rejected by Russia as not strong enough.



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