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Protests at funeral for Yemeni children killed in coalition strike

Thousands of Yemenis, including many children, shout slogans against Saudi Arabia and the US after air raid kills at least 40 children
Protest outside UN offices in Sanaa on Monday (Reuters)

Thousands of Yemenis protested against Riyadh and Washington on Monday as they took part in a mass funeral for children killed in an air strike by the Saudi-led coalition.

At least 40 children were among those killed in the air raid on Thursday on a bus in a crowded market in Dahyan, Saada province, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross' latest toll on Tuesday.

Many of the children were on a field trip after graduating from summer school, according to a CNN report and video showing the students playing before the attack. 

The mass funeral was held in the Houthi stronghold of Saada city with images broadcast by the rebels' Al-Masirah television.

Around 50 vehicles brought coffins into a large square in the city. 

The coffins were covered with green drapes and portraits of the victims were lined up on the ground for the Muslim prayer of the dead.

Mourners shouted slogans against Saudi Arabia and its ally and key arms supplier, the United States. "America kills Yemeni children," read several banners.

The Saudi-led coalition has taken part in Yemen's conflict since 2015 in support of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi's government in its fight against the Houthis.

The head of the Houthis' revolutionary council, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, took part in the funeral and slammed the raid as a "crime by America and its allies against the children of Yemen".

The Houthis' health ministry said that 51 people were killed in the raids including 40 children. It also said 79 others were wounded, including 56 children.

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Al-Masirah did not say how many victims were buried on Monday. 

Some families had already buried their loved ones, according to residents.

The coalition said on Friday it will launch a probe to "assess the events (and) clarify their circumstances", while the UN Security Council has called for a "credible investigation".

The war in impoverished Yemen has left nearly 10,000 people dead and unleashed what the UN describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

The UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, has invited the warring sides to talks on 6 September in Geneva. 

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