UK defends Saudi arms links amid UN allegations over Yemen

Britain's political opposition says the government should stop arms exports to Saudi Arabia until it investigates United Nations claims that civilians in Yemen are being targeted by a Saudi-led coalition.

Labour Party foreign affairs spokesman Hilary Benn said Thursday that there should be an investigation into whether Britain "is implementing its own arms control rules."

Saudi Arabia is the world's biggest buyer of British weapons, and U.K. military officials are advising Saudi forces.

This week, a U.N. report alleged "widespread and systematic" targeting of civilian areas in Yemen.

Middle East Minister Tobias Ellwood told lawmakers that the report's authors relied on satellite technology and didn't go to Yemen.

But he said the government took the report "very seriously" and would go through the allegations "with a fine-toothed comb."