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Yemeni court sentences Saudi rulers, Trump to death over roles in 2018 massacre of kids

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman shakes hands with US President Donald Trump at the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 29, 2019.(Photo by Reuters)

A court in Yemen’s northwestern province of Sa’ada province has handed down death penalties to 10 people, including the Saudi king and the US president, over their involvement in the massacre of dozens of Yemeni students two years ago.

The Specialized First Instance Criminal Court on Tuesday sentenced the defendants to death in absentia after finding them guilty of complicity in the Saudi-led airstrike on a bus carrying Yemeni schoolchildren in August 2018, Yemen’s Saba news agency reported.

The school bus came under attack by Saudi-led warplanes in a market in the town of Dahyan in Sa’ada. At least 50 civilians, mainly school kids, were killed and nearly 80 others were injured.

Among the convicts are Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Yemen’s former Riyadh-allied president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and US President Donald Trump.

The lists also includes Saudi Prince Turki bin Bandar bin Mohammed bin Abdurahman Al Saud, former US secretary of defense James Mattis and other former American and Yemeni officials.

According to the ruling issued in the session presided over by the court Chief Judge Riyadh al-Ruzami, the convicts are obliged to pay a fine of 10 billion dollars to the families of the victims.

Saudi Arabia launched a devastating bin Salman-led campaign against its southern neighbor in March 2015 in collaboration with a number of its allied states, and with arms support from the US and a number of other Western countries.

The aim was to return to power the Riyadh-backed former regime of Hadi and defeat the Houthi Ansarullah movement that has taken control of state matters since the resignation of the then president and his government.

The war failed to achieve its goals, but has taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories.

The UN refers to the situation in Yemen as the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with more than half of hospitals and clinics destroyed or closed.

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