Saudi-led airstrike kills 140 in Yemen amid civil war

At least 140 people have died and hundreds were injured in Yemen today after warplanes from a Saudi-led coalition targeted a funeral hall in the rebel-held capital Sanaa, amid an ongoing civil war.

It was the latest attack by an international air campaign organized by Saudi Arabia, which borders Yemen to the north, in support of the internationally recognized Yemen government that was overthrown by the Shiite Houthi-rebels. Several Houthi militia and security officials were mourning the death of the father of rebel-appointed Interior Minister Galal Al-Rishwan when the hall was hit, according to the Associated Press.

“The place has been turned into a lake of blood,” one rescuer Murad Tawfiq told the AP.

Mohammed Abdul-Salam, Houthis’ spokesman in Sanaa, said the attack was part of a larger “genocide” by the coalition.

“The silence of the United Nations and the international community is the munition of the murderers,” Abdul-Salam said. “Those murderers will not escape divine justice.”

The airstrikes began in March 2015 in an attempt to keep the Houthi rebels in the Arab world’s poorest country, with a population of 24 million, away from Saudi Arabia’s border to the north. The attacks have killed roughly 3,799 civilians since then, according to a recent report by the U.N.’s human rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein.

They have also exacerbated a civil war that is already starving the country to death and has forced more than 2.4 million people to leave in search of refuge.

A project coordinator for Doctors Without Borders in the Middle Eastern region has told NewsHour that he has “never seen such destruction conducted in such a short period as in Yemen.”

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