Saudi airstrike hits hotel: at least 41 dead
Some witnesses put the death toll at 60. About 100 people were in the building. Civilians are feared dead. For the Saudi-led coalition, the hotel was a “legitimate military high-value target”.
Sana'a (AsiaNews/Agencies) – At least 41 people were killed in an Saudi-led airstrike that hit a hotel yesterday in the Arhab district, 20 kilometres north of the Houthi rebel-controlled Yemeni capital of Sana'a.
Medics found 35 bodies as well as body parts, some dangling from the building after the roof collapsed. The rest were under the rubble. At least 13 people were wounded.
The pro-Houti al-Masirah TV network reported 41 deaths but the death toll is expected to rise.
According to some witnesses the death toll is around 60. About 100 people were inside the hotel at the time of the attack. Some civilians are almost certainly among the victims.
According to medical staff, the killed included farmers. Officials and some of those present said that Houthi rebels were also present. According to other witnesses, qat farmers were in the hotel.
A Saudi coalition spokesman said that a "legitimate military high-value target” was hit in Arhab, adding that those “who perished were members of an armed renegade group”.
Since January 2015, Yemen has been the scene of a bloody civil conflict that has caused about 10,000 deaths, pitting former President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, backed by Saudi Arabia, and Houthi rebels, close to Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
Recently, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres slammed airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition, which have killed more than half of all the children who have died in the conflict.
At present, the Yemeni population has also been hit by a major famine and the worst cholera outbreak in the world, now reaching half a million cases.