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UK minister to raise Yemen concerns with Saudi Arabia after air strike on funeral hall kills 140 people

Published 13/10/2016

Medics search for bodies under the rubble of a funeral hall that was targeted by a Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Osamah Abdulrhman)
Medics search for bodies under the rubble of a funeral hall that was targeted by a Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Osamah Abdulrhman)
A man takes photos of the damage caused by a Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. Yemeni security and medical officials say at least 45 people have been killed in a Saudi-led coalition airstrike that targeted a funeral hall in the capital, Sanaa. The officials say at least another 100 have been wounded in the Saturday strike. (AP Photo/Osamah Abdulrhman)
People inspect the aftermath of a Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. Yemeni security and medical officials say at least 45 people have been killed in a Saudi-led coalition airstrike that targeted a funeral hall in the capital, Sanaa. The officials say at least another 100 have been wounded in the Saturday strike. (AP Photo/Osamah Abdulrhman)
People inspect the aftermath of a Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. Yemeni security and medical officials say at least 45 people have been killed in a Saudi-led coalition airstrike that targeted a funeral hall in the capital, Sanaa. The officials say at least another 100 have been wounded in the Saturday strike. (AP Photo/Osamah Abdulrhman)
People inspect the aftermath of a Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. Yemeni security and medical officials say at least 45 people have been killed in a Saudi-led coalition airstrike that targeted a funeral hall in the capital, Sanaa. The officials say at least another 100 have been wounded in the Saturday strike. (AP Photo/Osamah Abdulrhman)
People inspect the aftermath of a Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. Yemeni security and medical officials say at least 45 people have been killed in a Saudi-led coalition airstrike that targeted a funeral hall in the capital, Sanaa. The officials say at least another 100 have been wounded in the Saturday strike. (AP Photo/Osamah Abdulrhman)
People inspect the aftermath of a Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. Yemeni security and medical officials say at least 45 people have been killed in a Saudi-led coalition airstrike that targeted a funeral hall in the capital, Sanaa. The officials say at least another 100 have been wounded in the Saturday strike. (AP Photo/Osamah Abdulrhman)
People inspect the aftermath of a Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. Yemeni security and medical officials say at least 45 people have been killed in a Saudi-led coalition airstrike that targeted a funeral hall in the capital, Sanaa. The officials say at least another 100 have been wounded in the Saturday strike. (AP Photo/Osamah Abdulrhman)
Medics carry the body of a victim of a Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. Yemeni security and medical officials say at least 45 people have been killed in a Saudi-led coalition airstrike that targeted a funeral hall in the capital, Sanaa. The officials say at least another 100 have been wounded in the Saturday strike. (AP Photo/Osamah Abdulrhman)
Bodies of victims of a Saudi-led coalition airstrike are loaded in an ambulance, in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. Yemeni security and medical officials say at least 45 people have been killed in a Saudi-led coalition airstrike that targeted a funeral hall in the capital, Sanaa. The officials say at least another 100 have been wounded in the Saturday strike. (AP Photo/Osamah Abdulrhman)

A British minister is to raise concerns with senior Saudi figures over the air strike on a Yemeni funeral hall which left at least 140 dead.

Saudi warplanes - operating in support of the Yemeni government in its two-year civil war with Iranian-backed Houthi rebels - have been widely blamed for the attack in the capital Sanaa on Saturday.

The incident led to renewed calls for Britain to halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia amid repeated claims that UK-made munitions have been used in air strikes which have killed thousands of civilians.

Foreign Office minister Tobias Ellwood, in Saudi Arabia for talks with Saudi and Yemeni leaders, will press for the early publication of the findings of a promised investigation into the latest incident.

The inquiry is being conducted by a 14-nation group known as the Joint Incidents Assessment Team, which includes a number of Saudi Arabia's Gulf Arab allies.

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A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "The minister will urge all parties to adhere to a new cessation of hostilities, and come back to the negotiating table.

"The minister will be raising the UK's concerns about the air strike on a funeral hall in Sanaa on Saturday.

"The Joint Incidents Assessment Team has already committed to releasing the findings of their investigation into the incident, and he will press for this to be done as a matter of urgency."

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