Yemen schoolchildren hold mock funeral for classmate killed by Houthis
Dozens of schoolchildren in Yemen’s central city of Marib organized on Thursday a symbolic funeral for a student killed in a Houthi missile strike on Tuesday, as well as a protest against Houthi assaults on people in the city.
Students at Marib’s Safea Primary School for Internally Displaced People gathered to mourn their classmate Romoush Saleh Amer, 17, who was among four civilians killed in a Houthi missile strike on a military installation on Tuesday.
Students carried placards mourning their friend while also condemning Houthi raids on their camps.
“The Houthis deprived us of our friend Romoush. Where is our right to safety?” wondered a student holding a sign.
“Children were tormented and intimidated by the Houthis. The Houthis took away our schooling,” read another sign in Arabic.
The classmates wept over a casket containing the deceased student’s books and notes.
On Tuesday, the Houthis launched two missiles toward a military installation in Marib city. One of the missiles slammed into an ammunition deposit, launching rockets and munitions into the sky.
Some of the flying rockets landed in the city’s camps for internally displaced persons, killing four civilians, including Amer, and injuring 23 others, according to the internationally recognized government’s executive unit for IDP camps.
More than 2 million people have fled conflict or Houthi repression in their home provinces to Marib during the past seven years.
The latest Houthi attack on Marib has provoked outrage from local and international rights groups and activists who have warned of the effects of Houthi strikes on security and peace in the vital city, which has become a safe haven for thousands of civilians during the war.
The Geneva-based SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties said that the Houthis have fired more than 115 ballistic missiles and 140 other rockets at the city of Marib since the beginning of the conflict, killing 255 civilians, including 25 children and 12 women, and injuring 445 others, including 47 children and 10 women.
The organization warned that the Houthi attacks might force many displaced families to flee Marib for safer grounds.
“The (Houthi) bombings and threats against the city of Marib have put millions of residents in danger, given the ongoing deterioration of the humanitarian situation and the poor performance of UN programs owing to a lack of money,” the organization said.
Without naming the Houthis, the international organization Doctors Without Borders urged warring parties in Yemen not to conduct military operations in or near civilian areas, noting that the strike on Tuesday destroyed some of the displaced people’s infrastructure.
Despite warnings and appeals, the Houthis have fired explosive-rigged drones against Marib and other cities around Yemen during the past 48 hours.
A Houthi drone targeted a facility for the Yemeni coast guard authority in the Red Sea town of Khokha on Thursday, local media said. On Wednesday, the Yemeni army shot down another drone over Marib.