Top military brass among those killed in Yemen funeral strike: official


Sanaa (AFP)

Leading rebel officers were among those killed in the weekend air strike on a funeral in Yemen's capital, blamed on pro-government Arab coalition warplanes, according to official media reports on Tuesday.

Funerals for several top rebel-allied officers and officials killed in Saturday's strike were held in Sanaa on Tuesday, rebel-controlled Saba news agency reported.

The Iran-backed rebels have blamed the Saudi-led coalition for the air strike, one of the deadliest since the alliance launched a military campaign against the Shiite insurgents in March 2015.

After initially denying responsibility, the coalition said Sunday it was ready to investigate the "regrettable and painful" strike, while UN chief Ban Ki-Moon demanded a "prompt and impartial" probe.

Three commanders of the elite republican guard brigades, loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh who is allied with Shiite Huthi rebels, were said to be among those killed.

They were named by Saba as General Ali al-Jaefi, head of the republican guard and Brigadiers Abdulmalik Marzooq and Ali al-Hamzi.

General Ahmed Manea, a member of the supreme security committee, was also among those killed in the air strike which killed at least 140 people and wounded more than 525 others according to the UN.

Deputy security chief of Sanaa province, Ahmed al-Shalef, and the head of the rebels' civil status authority, brigadier Yehya al-Rowaishan, were also listed as killed in the attack.

The Saudi-led coalition has come under increasing international pressure over civilian deaths.

The conflict has killed more than 6,800 people -- almost two thirds of them civilians -- and displaced at least three million since the coalition launched it campaign in support of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.