Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USYEM034-C

Incident date

September 5, 2011

Location

مدرسة الفاروق الثانوية في جعار, Al-Farouq high school, Jaar, Abyan, Yemen

Geolocation

13.210097, 45.305594 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Nearby landmark level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

At least one civilian, a child, was killed and four others, including two children, were injured in the alleged US drone strike or Yemeni airstrike that hit the Al-Farouq High School in Ja´ar Abyan Province on the 5th of September 2011. Wafaa Mohammed Ahmed al-Hamza (8 years old) was killed and her father Mohammed Ahmed Baggash and her brother Sabr (13 years old) were among the civilians injured.

Mareb Press reported that airstrikes hit Al-Farouq High School and that the number of victims killed and wounded was in the hundreds. This number of civilian casualties was not reiterated by other outlets but Amnesty stated that Wafaa Mohammed Ahmed- Al-Hamza (8 years old) was killed by flying shrapnel. The report stated that: “She and her brother had brought lunch for her father, who worked as a school janitor. While at the school, which was not one of those occupied by Ansar al Shari’a, a missile landed on a section of Ja’ar’s main asphalt road adjacent to the metal entrance gate of the school…The father, who was injured in the shoulder, carried Wafaa and knocked on a neighbour’s door for help”. The neighbour stated that Wafaa was brought to a pharmacist in Batis who pronounced the young girl dead. The report further mentions the injury of Wafaa’s 13-year-old brother who sustained a knee injury.

Whilst not specifying the date, BBC reported on the alleged incident that killed Mohammed Ahmed Baggash’s daughter Wafaa. After hiding from the drone strikes in the school, the school was hit by a drone strike. Mr Baggash said: “It was as if everyone was burning. It was all dark. When the smoke cleared, I saw my son’s leg was bleeding, and my daughter was hit on the back of the head” whilst both children were carried out of the site, his son survived but his daughter bled to death on the way to hospital. Mr Baggash recalled that his daughter started shrinking in his arms. In addition, BBC asserted the injury of further children. Alkarama reported that in addition to the child killed, four others were injured, two men and two children.

Mondoweiss published a report on the alleged incident, with identical names but different times, as it claimed the attack was carried out on the 7th of September, not on the 5th. Mr Baggash told members of Codepink that he and “his children ran to the local school to hide in the basement, afraid there might be another strike. Huddling on the floor, they tried to protect Wafaa by sandwiching her between them.” Mr Baggash’s back was injured whilst his son sustained an injury on his leg. He claimed that Wafaa died on her way to the hospital in Aden. Following the incident, Sabr, Wafaa’s brother, had nightmares for six to eight months and the children in the community were terrified every time they heard or saw a plane.

The airstrikes on Al-Farouq High School was one of multiple airstrikes carried out on September 5th, which hit the Grand Mosque, Al-Razi Hospital, Al-Farouq High School, the Drilling Department, the Jaar Court, and Beit Al-Watti. Sources were conflicted as to whether the airstrikes carried out on this day were conducted by US forces or the Yemeni government.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (3)

Wafaa Mohammed Ahmed al-Hamza الحمزة أحمد محمد وفاء
8 years old female killed
Mohammed Ahmed Baggash
Adult male injured
Sabr
13 years old male injured

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention Al Farouq High School (مدرسة الفاروق الثانوية) in the town of Jaar (جعار), for which the generic coordinates are: 13.210097, 45.305594. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian infrastructure
    School
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Yemeni Air Force
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)

Sources (11) [ collapse]

US Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US Forces
  • US Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Yemeni Air Force Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Yemeni Air Force
  • Yemeni Air Force position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian infrastructure
    School
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Yemeni Air Force
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)

Sources (11) [ collapse]