Investigate air strike on Yemen wedding party: UN humanitarian chief

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Homes in Yemen destroyed by coalition airstrikes. Photo: Almigdad Mojalli/IRIN

The UN humanitarian affairs chief has called for a "swift, transparent and impartial investigation" into an attack this week in Yemen which killed nearly 50 members of a wedding party.

Stephen O'Brien said the incident is an example of the devastating impact of explosive weapons in the country's conflict between government forces and rebels.

Fighting escalated in March following the start of air strikes by a Saudi-led coalition.

Dianne Penn reports.

The UN humanitarian affairs chief said he was "deeply disturbed" to learn that coalition air strikes had killed 47 members of a wedding party in Yemen's Dhamar governorate on Wednesday.

Thirty-five others, including women and children, were also injured in the attack.

Mr O'Brien said, "Once again, we are seeing the devastating impact of explosive weapons—used by all parties—in this conflict." 

The UN estimates that 4,500 civilians in Yemen have been killed or injured by explosive weapons so far this year which he said is "far more" than in any other country or crisis in the world.

Mr O'Brien pointed out that under international humanitarian law, warring parties have an obligation to protect civilians and to avoid damage to homes and other buildings.

He said, with modern weapons technology there is 'little excuse for error."

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 57"



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