UN demands inquiry into Yemen market bombing

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United Nations, Mar 17: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has demanded an investigation into an air strike on a market in Yemen that reportedly killed dozens of civilians.

The situation in Hajja province in northern Yemen is not clear, but local sources blame the Saudi-led coalition fighting Huthi rebels for carrying out Tuesday's strike.

Initial reports from health officials said the bulk of the more than 40 dead were civilians, but a tribal chief later told AFP that 33 of those killed were Huthi militiamen.

"The secretary general condemns the airstrikes that hit al-Khamis market in Mastaba district in the Hajjah province of Yemen yesterday," Ban's office said yesterday. "This incident is one of the deadliest -- reportedly killing and wounding scores of civilians, including women and children -- since the start of the conflict," he complained.

"This is the second major incident of this kind in just over two weeks," he added, stressing that attacks on civilian areas like markets are a breach of international law.

Human rights groups have repeatedly complained that air strikes carried out by the Saudi-led coalition -- with technical and logistical support from the United States and Britain -- hit Yemeni civilian targets. 

AFP

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