Arab Coalition in Yemen confirms Sanaa blood bank was bombed by mistake

JIAT spokesman Mansour Al-Mansour
Updated 03 October 2019

Arab Coalition in Yemen confirms Sanaa blood bank was bombed by mistake

  • The incident was one of four reviewed by Coalition forces

RIYADH: The Arab coalition in Yemen has admitted accidentally bombing the National Center for Blood Transfusion and Research in Sanaa.

According to a report by Yemen’s National Committee for the Investigation of Allegations of Human Rights Violations, the medical facility was struck on April 27 this year by a concrete bomb that destroyed part of the building and much of the equipment inside.

The incident was one of four reviewed by Coalition forces. The results of the reviews were announced on Wednesday by Mansour Al-Mansour, a spokesman for the Coalition’s Joint Incident Assessment Team (JIAT).

He said that investigators had examined the scene of the airstrike at the blood transfusion center and taken statements from medical and administrative staff who work in the building, which is about 200 meters from a gas station at a Yemeni Special Security Forces camp.

A defect in the bomb was blamed for the mistake and he added that Coalition nations will provide assistance to repair the damage caused by the bomb.

Al-Mansour said that JIAT refuted the remaining three allegations. In the first, it was claimed that a farmhouse had been bombed in Aslan, in the Baqim district of Saada governorate, on Nov. 2, 2017, killing seven members of the farmer’s family, including three children.

Al-Mansour said JIAT found that Coalition forces carried out only one air mission that day, which targeted a legitimate military target: a building used as a weapons depot by Houthis, located 3.8 kilometers from Baqim.

Coalition forces were also accused of striking a house near Al-Nasr school in the Qabbaytah district of Lahj governorate on June 21, 2016. There was no mention of any injuries or deaths. Al-Mansour said that JIAT reviewed all air missions on that date and established that the coalition was not responsible for the attack.

The third alleged coalition incident involved an air strike in Sanaa on May 27, 2018 that injured an unknown number of civilians, including children, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

After reviewing the daily mission schedules, JIAT said that the day before the date of the claim, Coalition forces carried out an aerial mission on a legitimate military target, a gas station, in Sanaa. This attack was previously reviewed by JIAT and the findings announced on May 22, 2019. The day after the date of the latest claim, Coalition forces carried out an aerial attack on a cave being used as a weapons store in a Houthi militia camp. Two guided bombs hit the target, which was 20 km from Sanaa. Al-Mansour added that JIAT found the Coalition did not carry out any aerial missions in Sanaa on the date of the claim.


Tunisia says militant leader killed in anti-terror raid

Updated 20 October 2019

Tunisia says militant leader killed in anti-terror raid

  • Tunisian armed forces and national guardsmen led the operation
  • A terrorist leader from the Al-Qaeda branch in Tunisia was killed

TUNIS: An Al-Qaeda leader was killed and another wounded during an anti-terror raid in Tunisia on Sunday, according to the country’s defense ministry.
Tunisian armed forces and national guardsmen led the operation against Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in the mountainous Kasserine region near the Algerian border, ministry spokesman Mohamed Zekri told AFP.
“A terrorist leader from the Okba Ibn Nafaa group was killed” and another injured in the ongoing operation, he said.
Okba Ibn Nafaa is the Tunisian branch of AQIM.
Various extremiist groups are active in the rugged frontier region of Kasserine, including the Daesh group-affiliated Jund Al-Khalifa, or “Soldiers of the Caliphate.”
Security forces regularly carry out raids in the area.
Tunisia faced a rise in extremist activity after its 2011 revolution, with attacks killing dozens of security personnel, civilians and foreign tourists.
While the security situation has significantly improved since a series of deadly attacks in 2015, Tunisia has maintained a state of emergency for four years and assaults against security forces have persisted.