Aid official alarmed by deadly attack on funeral gathering in Yemen

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Jamie McGoldrick. Photo: UN OCHA Yemen (file)

The UN's top aid official in Yemen said he is "extremely saddened and appalled" by a deadly airstrike on Tuesday that hit mourners at a funeral.

Jamie McGoldrick has issued a statement expressing his alarm over the incident, adding that peace is the only solution to the ongoing crisis there.

The UN and its partners recently launched a US$2.1 billion appeal for Yemen, where nearly three years of fighting between government forces, backed by a Saudi coalition, and Houthi rebels, have left nearly 19 million in need of assistance.

Dianne Penn reports.

The airstrike hit a funeral gathering in a private residence near Yemen's capital, Sana'a.

Mostly women and children were attending.

Six women and a girl were confirmed dead and at least 15 other women were injured, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the country Jamie McGoldrick reported.

However, he said the number of dead could rise as the critically injured struggle to survive.

And he was alarmed that "this tragic loss of life" has led to more fighting, with reports of a retaliatory missile strike into Saudi Arabia.

Mr McGoldrick pointed out that the incident was not the first time mourners, or civilian buildings, in Yemen have been struck by airstrikes.

He said: "The manner in which the parties to the conflict are waging this war is taking an unacceptable toll on the civilian population in Yemen and as illustrated by this most recent tragedy, women and children are paying with their lives."

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 58"

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