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  1. ITV Report

Yemen funeral hall attack: Saudi Arabia will 'make amends'

Saudi Arabia will "make amends" for the airstrike on a Yemen funeral hall which killed 140 people and those responsible will be punished, the country's foreign minister has said.

Adel al-Jubeir told ITV News "nobody feels the pain" of the attack "more than the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the coalition partners".

The airstrike on October 8 - which also injured over 500 - was one of the deadliest in the country's civil war.

"It was a mistake, a very tragic mistake, and we apologised for that and we will make amends for this," said Adel al-Jubeir.

"We will punish those responsible and we will put in place procedures to hopefully prevent this from ever happening again."

Smoke rises from the community hall where Saudi-led warplanes struck a funeral in Sanaa. Credit: Reuters

Yemen has endured a bloody conflict between Houthi rebels and Yemen's internationally-recognised government since March 2015.

The Yemeni government is supported by the US, UK and France and receives military support from a Saudi Arabia-led coalition, including the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Morocco, Qatar, Senegal and Sudan.

More than 10,000 people are believed to have been killed in the conflict to date.

A civil war has been raging in Yemen since March 2015

Adel al-Jubeir said Saudi Arabia is prepared to agree to a ceasefire in Yemen if the Iran-allied Houthis agree, but added that he was sceptical about efforts for peace after the failure of previous ceasefire attempts.

"All of us want to bring this war to an end," he said. "We pushed the Yemeni government to go to Kuwait and negotiate with the Houthis.

"The United Nations put on the table proposals for ending this conflict, the government accepted it, the Houthis rejected it, so who's to blame for not wanting peace?"

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, together with US Secretary of State John Kerry, discussed the conflict in Yemen on Sunday with Jubeir and officials from the United Arab Emirates.

The Foreign Office said that Saudi Arabia's approach to humanitarian law will be a factor in the UK's assessment of arms sales to the kingdom, and it would look into the air strike on the funeral as part of that process.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson greets Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir on Sunday. Credit: PA

When asked by ITV News Security Editor Rohit Kachroo if the UK should be accused of hypocrisy for attacking the actions of Russia in Aleppo but saying very little about the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, Jubeir said he "doesn't believe you can compare the two".

"In Yemen we are fighting against a militia that has taken over the government and country illegally," he said.

"In Yemen we are following international humanitarian law. In Yemen where mistakes are made they are investigated and actions are taken. In Yemen where there's a question with regards to a specific target that was hit we investigate and publish those results. So we are very careful about abiding by and adhearing to international humanitarian law.

"Have you seen anybody in Syria investigate attacks against hospitals or civilians? I haven't".