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UN Panel: Saudi Bombing of Funeral Gathering a War Crime

Oct. 22, 2016 (EIRNS)—A UN panel looking into the Oct. 8 Saudi bombing of the funeral gathering in Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, has concluded that the Saudis committed war crimes. According to the Associated Press, the report of UN experts investigating the bombing indicates that

"the attack resulted in a disproportionately higher numbers of civilian casualties, when compared to military casualties, and that this could have been anticipated prior to the attack."

The report, delivered to the head of the UN Security Council committee monitoring sanctions against the Houthi Shi’ite rebels, said the panel was unaware of any measures taken by the coalition to make such an assessment or to prevent death and injury to civilians and damage to civilian buildings. The panel said it "remains unconvinced" that the requirements under international law were met but it will continue to investigate.

But the panel said the second air strike, which followed three to eight minutes after the first, "almost certainly resulted in more casualties to the already wounded and the first responders," a practice prohibited under international humanitarian law. "The panel thus finds, in respect of the second air strike, that the Saudi Arabia-led coalition violated its obligations" not to attack those unable to fight, the wounded and medical personnel, "and did not take effective precautionary measures to minimize harm to civilians, including the first responders," the report said.

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