SANAA, Yemen — The United Nations, the United States and other partners today called for an immediate investigation into a deadly air raid on a compound in northern Yemen that, according to an unnamed Yemeni official, killed at least 29 civilians and injured more than 100 others.
Ali Al-Ahmar, minister of the Justice and Islamic Affairs Ministry, also told the AFP that a large majority of the injured are children.
The air raid on Saturday struck the Dar Saad (DS) mosque and the Zakatand Ali Salman mosque, which were located near an elementary school, killing at least 44 people, the official said.
Yemen’s conflict started in March 2015 after an Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia began an air campaign against the Houthi rebels who currently control Yemen’s capital, Sanaa. Despite international condemnation, the coalition is accused of not doing enough to stem the bloodshed. On April 8, the United Nations called on all parties to the conflict to protect civilians by halting attacks on civilians and civilian facilities.
In a statement today, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said a total of 6,250 people, including 3,859 children, have been killed and more than 14,000 others injured since March 2015. Humanitarian funding for Yemen in 2018 is expected to be around $275 million.
“It is more than nine months since the coalition was formed. There have been no guarantees for an end to air strikes against civilian areas and civilians continue to be killed and injured,” said Yemen’s deputy foreign minister, Khaled Al Murshidi.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Yemen said Friday that officials were trying to determine the details of the air raid.
The aerial strike, according to Al Ahmar, was launched by Saudi jets from an area known as Abu Baseer, a palm grove two kilometers from Marib’s Buruj town, where the coalition is trying to build an Al-Qaeda base.