Thousands of Yemenis staged a rally in the capital Sana’a Sunday, condemning an airstrike on a funeral hall that the United Nations said killed at least 140 people and injured more than 500.

The rally, mostly by backers of anti-government Houthi rebels, was held near a UN office in Sana’a where the protesters chanted slogans against a Saudi-led air coalition that they blame for Saturday’s attack.

The demonstrators called on the UN to denounce what they described as a “massacre” inside the funeral hall, where rescuers were still searching for victims in the rubble.

UN Secretary General Bank Ki-moon called for a ”prompt and impartial investigation” into the attack, his spokesman said on Sunday.

“The Secretary-General notes that any deliberate attack against civilians is utterly unacceptable ... Those responsible for the attack must be brought to justice.”

Witnesses said that multiple airstrikes hit the hall in southern Sana’a.

“I was praying in the Nour al-Salam Mosque, which is a few metres from the hall when I heard the sound of a violent airstrike,” Abdul Karim Dukhaish, a witness, told dpa.

“I ran to my house near the hall fearing for my family. When I was on my way, a second strike came and hit the hall again.”

Other witnesses said that there were more than 1,000 mourners inside the hall at the time of the attack.

They were there attending a funeral ceremony for the late father of pro-rebel Interior Minister Galal al-Rawishan, who survived unharmed.

Sana'a has been under the Iran-allied Houthis' control since September 2014 amid an escalating power struggle between them and the Saudi-backed Yemeni government.

Saturday’s attack is believed to be one of the deadliest in the impoverished country since Saudi Arabia and fellow Sunni allies started an air campaign against mostly Shiite rebels in Yemen in March 2015.

The Saudi-led alliance denied responsibility for the deaths, saying it will investigate the incident.

The United States said Saturday it would begin an "immediate review" of its support for the coalition spearheaded by the Saudis in Yemen following the attack.

Saudi Arabia fears that Yemen’s mostly Shiite rebels will give its regional rival, Shiite Iran, a strategic foothold on the Arabian Peninsula.

 

Related stories

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.