The Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United Nations complained to Secretary General U Thant late Monday night that forces of the United Arab Republic had bombed the Saudi Arabian town of Najran and had delivered a poison gas attack against the Yemeni village of Kitaf.
The Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United Nations complained to Secretary General U Thant late Monday night that forces of the United Arab Republic had bombed the Saudi Arabian town of Najran and had delivered a poison gas attack against the Yemeni village of Kitaf. Film on both incidents has just reached New York.
At Najran, a supply town in Saudi Arabia 25 miles north of the Yemeni border, UAR aircraft were reported to have killed between 8 and 10 person in two raids on Friday (Jan 27). Ground observers said the aircraft used were made in the Soviet Union. In the second of two raids, eight Ilyushin bombers, escorted by MIG fighters, dropped at least 30 bombs. Some of the bombs failed to explode and Russian writing was observed on them. Two children were killed. After the attack, fragments of the bombs lay burning in the streets of the village. Yemeni Royalist soldiers collected the unexploded bombs and took them away.
At Kitaf, the alleged gas raid earlier in January was reported to have killed 160 person, one quarter of the town. Kitaf (pronounced Key-tahf) is the capital of the Yemeni Royalists. On January 26th, unexploded bombs were visible in Kitaf. According to Yemenis in Kitaf, the UAR bombers swept in and dropped smoke bombs to ascertain the win direction. Then other bombs were dropped, which emitted clouds of gas.
A herd of goats dropped in their pens as the gas swept over them. Peoples gagged and writhed on the ground. Half the town fled. By Thursday, only a few tribesmen had returned from hiding in the hills.
According to Yemeni sources, the victims died within half an hour. Nobody was wounded or marked. They conclude that the agent used was poison gas.
(Yemen has been torn by a civil war since the early 60's. Republican forces overthrew the Royalists in 1962. The Royalists have continued to fight against the Republicans from bases in remote areas of the Yemen. The Royalists are supported by Saudi Arabia. The Republicans are supported by the United Arab Republic, which has used its modern armed forces in the struggle.)