Thousands attend funeral of slaughtered children. Riyadh: 'Collateral damage'

The crowd at the funeral of the 40 minors who were victims of the Saudi attack chanted slogans against Riyadh, the United States and Israel. The coffins of the victims wrapped in green cloths, symbol of Islam. Minister of the Emirates justifies the use of force. The UN Secretary General hopes for an independent investigation.


Sana'a (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Thousands of people took part in the group funeral of 40 children killed in a Saudi coalition raid in Yemen on 9 August in Dahyan, in the province of Saada (Houthi stronghold) . 

The cars carrying the bodies flew green flags, a symbol of Islam. During the funeral the crowd chanted slogans and protest songs against Riyadh, an ally of the Yemeni government in the fight against pro-Iranian Shiite rebels.

In the attack, which hit a bus loaded with civilians, 51 people died; of these, most were children between 10 and 13 years old. At least 79 injured, some of them in serious condition.

In response to criticism from activists, pro-human rights organizations and the highest representatives of the United Nations, including the secretary general Antonio Guterres, who calls for an independent investigation, Saudi Arabia continues to speak of a "legitimate" military action. For Riyadh, civilian casualties, especially children, are attributable to "collateral damage" and the responsibility falls on the Houthi "responsible for recruiting and training young people".

Yesterday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates (Eau), an ally of Riyadh in the war in Yemen, justified the use of force, even to the detriment of minors. "War - underlined Anwar Gargash - can never be a clean operation".

For the local population, affected by the tragedy, the Arab coalition - already accused in the past of being responsible for 51% of deaths among civilians, among whom there are also children - has committed "unprecedented crimes", that "history and humanity will never forget ". The bodies were wrapped in white sheets and the protests, filled with anger and condolences, were also held in the same Sanaa.

Commenting on the massacre, the leaders of the Shiite rebel movement spoke of a "crime" perpetrated by the Americans and their allies "against the children of Yemen". The reference is to the fact that the Saudi Arabian-led coalition receives logistical and intelligence support from the United States, United Kingdom and France. 

The head of the revolutionary committee Houthi Mohamed Ali al-Houthi, present at the funeral, pointed his finger at Washington, responsible for the "massacre". "Death to America, death to Israel" the crowd responded in chorus, resuming slogans familiar to the Iranian ally's propaganda.