04/24/2018, 12.03
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UN condemns air strike on Yemen wedding: dozens of victims, even children

The UN Secretary-General condemns the April 22 attack in the northern province of Hajjah. The Houthi Shiite rebels accuse the Saudi Arabian coalition. Guterres promises a "prompt, effective and transparent" investigation. The political leader Houthi Saleh al-Sammad was murdered.

Sana'a (AsiaNews / Agencies) - UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has strongly condemned the air raid that struck those invited to a wedding in Yemen, killing dozens of civilians, including several children. Gutierrez has called for the official opening of an investigation into the attack, which according to the Shiite Houthi rebels, was carried out by the Saudi Arabian-led coalition.

The air raid took place in the late evening of 22 April in the northern province of Hajjah, controlled by Shiite militias near Iran.

Commenting on the attack, the UN Secretary General "strongly condemns the airstrikes on the wedding party in Hajjah" and on a "vehicle of civilians in Taez, where at least 50 people, including children, have been killed and dozens injured".

Antonio Guterres "strongly condemns the airstrikes on a wedding party in Hajjah and on civilian vehicles in Taez, where at least 50 civilians, including children, were reportedly killed and scores of others injured," said a U.N. statement. The U.N. chief "reminds all parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law concerning the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure during armed conflicts." He called for "a prompt, effective and transparent investigation" of the air strikes which were carried out as the United Nations is seeking to re-launch political talks to end the war in Yemen.

Since January 2015, the Arab country has been the scene of a brutal conflict opposing the Sunni-led government of former President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, supported by Riyadh, to Houthi Shia rebels, close to Iran and Hezbollah.

In March of the same year, a Saudi-led coalition began air strikes against the rebels, which the United Nations slammed for causing civilian casualties, including children.

The apostolic vicar, Mgr Paul Hinder, has repeatedly spoken out against the ongoing disaster.  Christians too have become embroiled in the conflict as well, like in the attack against the Missionaries of Charity in Aden.

Today the Houthi occupy about 30 per cent of the country, especially in the north, where most of the population is concentrated.

In the pro-Saudi, government-controlled south, a new battle line has emerged with the arrival on the scene of pro-United Arab Emirate separatists, further complicating the situation.

Yemen, which was united as country in 1990, appears to be increasingly at risk of implosion, caught in the crossfire of a battle for regional supremacy.

In a context of wars and divisions, Riyadh has also imposed a blockade last November in response to Houthi rocket attacks. In turn, this has exacerbated the food and emergency medicine.

Yesterday, the leaders of the Houthi rebels confirmed the death of their political leader, Saleh al-Sammad, who was killed in an air raid. The Shiite militias speak of their leader's martyrdom and assure revenge for his murder.

The air strike  dates back to April 19 and hit the province of Hodeida, in the west of the country. Saleh al-Sammad is the most important Houthi leader killed since the beginning of the conflict. The Saudis had put a million dollar bounty on his head. His place in the political council was taken by Mehdi Hussein Al-Machat, who declared that "this crime will not go unpunished".

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