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Funeral Held for Top Houthi Official Killed in Yemen Airstrike

Houthi supporters hold posters of Saleh al-Samad, a senior Houthi official, during a funeral procession held for him and six others killed by Saudi-led airstrikes last week, in Sanaa, Yemen, April 28, 2018.

Thousands of Yemenis attended a funeral Saturday for a top Houthi rebel official killed more than a week ago in a Saudi-led coalition airstrike in the coastal province of Hodeida.

Saleh al-Samad, chief of the Houthis' Supreme Political Council, was killed in that airstrike along with six others. Al-Samad's successor, Mahdi al-Mashat, was among the mourners who attended the funeral in Sanaa's al-Sabeen Square.

Rebel leader Abdul-Malek al-Houthi has vowed to avenge the death of al-Samad.

Shortly after the funeral started, the Houthis said they had launched eight ballistic missiles into Sunni territory. The Saudi-led coalition said it had intercepted four of the missiles, which were headed for the coastal city of Jizan.

The coalition also said one man had been killed by flying debris from the attack.

Also Saturday, a Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Yemen's capital killed two Houthi leaders.

It was not immediately clear how many other people were killed or injured in the attack in Sanaa. Saudi Arabia's state-run television put the death toll at more than 50, while al-Arabia television said at least 38 rebels had been killed in the strike on the Houthis' interior ministry building.

More than 2 million people have become internally displaced in Yemen since March 2015. That is when the Saudi-led coalition, in support of Yemen's government, began a bombing campaign against Houthi rebels.

Yemen, the site of the world's largest humanitarian crisis, has more than 22 million people in need of assistance. Aid agencies warn needs are increasing, fueled by the ongoing conflict, collapsing economy, and lack of social services and livelihoods.