U.N. leader condemns airstrike on Yemen funeral, doubtful of Saudi denials

NEW YORK, Oct. 10 (UPI) — United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday supported calls for an international investigation into an airstrike over the weekend on a funeral party in Yemen that killed at least 140 people.

The attack happened in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa on Saturday as the victims were attending a funeral ceremony. It also injured more than 500 people. Witnesses said two airstrikes bombed the assembly hall.

It’s believed by many that the Saudi Arabian government was responsible for the strikes, though Saudi leaders have denied involvement.

“Despite mounting crimes by all parties to the conflict, we have yet to see the results of any credible investigations,” Ban said. “This latest horrific incident demands a full inquiry.”

Ban also called the attack “a heartless attack on civilians and an outrageous violation of international humanitarian law.”

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The secretary general’s support for an inquiry follows calls for the same by many other leaders, including some in President Barack Obama‘s administration.

Ban also expressed doubt about the Saudis’ denials on Monday, citing similar patterns of behavior in the past.

“Aerial attacks by the Saudi-led coalition have already caused immense carnage and destroyed much of the country’s medical facilities and other vital civilian infrastructure,” he said. “Excuses ring hollow given the pattern of violence throughout the conflict. Parties cannot hide behind the fog of this war.”

Earlier Monday, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein called for an international inquiry, citing a rise in civilian casualties since the collapse of Yemeni peace talks in August.

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