UN chief demands ‘impartial’ probe into Yemen attack

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon gives a press conference at the UN Human rights Council session on March 3, 2014 in Geneva. Ban Ki-moon will meet later with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov under the shadow of a spiralling crisis in Ukraine. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI

NNA – UN chief Ban Ki-moon called Sunday for a swift, independent probe into the air raid that killed more than 140 people at a funeral in Yemen, demanding the perpetrators face justice.

“The Secretary-General condemns the attack on an event hall,” said a statement from Ban’s office. “Any deliberate attack against civilians is utterly unacceptable.”

The Saudi-led coalition, which is fighting rebels in Yemen and has been blamed for the Saturday strikes, has promised to investigate the incident it described as “regrettable and painful”.

Ban said the probe must be “prompt and impartial.”

“Those responsible for the attack must be brought to justice,” he added.

Ban’s statement said that the attack was “said to have been airstrikes by the coalition”, but the UN leader did not directly assign blame.

The attack, one of the deadliest since the coalition launched a military campaign against Yemen-backed Huthi rebels in March last year, also wounded more than 525 people, according to the UN. ———AFP