Fragments of US-made bomb allegedly found at Yemen funeral bombing site
Photos and video have emerged online of what is claimed to be fragments of a US-made bomb found at the scene of a deadly strike on a mourning hall in the Yemeni capital Saana. Saudi Arabia had earlier denied responsibility for the attack.
One photo, which a prominent Saana lawyer posted on his Facebook page, shows what is claimed to be a fragment of an Mk-82 precision bomb produced by Raytheon, one of the main US defense contractors. The photo was allegedly taken at the scene of the bombing, and has a serial number and words in English referring to the bomb model written on it.
Another photo taken by an ITV News correspondent on the scene shows fragments of what is the same type of bomb, according to a local munitions expert he consulted.
A video emerged online of what is claimed to be several fragments of the weapon used to strike the funeral in Sanaa, including the fragment from the first photo.
The authenticity of the photos and video could not be independently verified.
The mourning hall bombing was the biggest single loss of civilians in the 18 months of the Saudi-led coalition’s intervention in Yemen. The reported ‘double-tap’ strike on the hall, in which a second bombing followed the initial attack and hit first responders, claimed at least 140 lives and left more than 500 people injured. Among the casualties was Saana’s governor.
According to the UN, Saudi airstrikes are responsible for the majority of civilian deaths in the Yemen conflict, in which over 4,000 civilians have been killed. The US has been supplying arms as well as providing refueling and logistic support for the Saudi-led coalition, which has increased Washington’s concerns of possible complicity in the atrocities.
In November, the US announced a $1.29 billion sale of weapons meant to replenish Saudi stocks used in the Yemen campaign. The contract includes more than 8,000 new Mk-82 bombs.
There is no doubt among American officials that Saudi Arabia bombed the funeral in Sanaa on Saturday, killing and wounding hundreds. #Yemen— Samuel Oakford (@samueloakford) October 10, 2016
Riyadh denied involvement in the incident, but privately confirmed that one of its planes delivered the airstrikes, the BBC reported on Sunday, citing its source. Saudi Arabia agreed that Britain would be part of the investigation into the bombing, the British broadcaster said.
The UK is another major seller of weapons to Saudi Arabia, but the heavy toll the Saudi campaign has taken on civilians has led many British politicians and activists to call for stopping the flow of arms.