An explosive shell has hit a funeral gathering attended by
southern separatists in Yemen, killing 15 people, including
children, witnesses and medical sources say.
Witnesses said the shell had been fired by a tank and blamed
the army. One local army officer, who asked not to be named,
told Reuters a military outpost had fired the shell by
mistake, and the man in charge was being investigated -
though there was no immediate comment from the defence
ministry in Sanaa.
Around 40 people were also wounded in the strike on a tent
where mourners had come to pay their respects to the family
of a southern separatist who died earlier in the week, the
sources told Reuters.
The tent had been set up inside a school in the southern
province of al-Dhalea by members of the al-Herak al-Janoubi,
a coalition of groups aiming to set up an independent state
in the region.
President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi set up a committee to
investigate the incident, state news agency SABA reported,
without going into further details.
Yemen is struggling to restore state authority after mass
unrest ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh a year ago.
Islamist militants strengthened their grip on parts of the
country, before being pushed back by U.S.-supported military
action - and southern groups stepped up their campaigns for
Yemen's north and its once-Marxist south united in 1990, but
civil war broke out four years later. Then-President Saleh
crushed southern secessionists and maintained the union.
Elsewhere, two Islamist militants were killed in an air
strike in east Yemen, residents and a local official said.
The strike hit a car carrying the militants in Hadramout
province setting it on fire, they said.