Saudi attack on Yemen wedding kills up to 33, wounds dozens

Officials said ambulances were initially unable to reach the site for fear of more attacks as the jets continued to circle overhead

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 April, 2018, 6:12pm
UPDATED : Monday, 23 April, 2018, 11:20pm

An air strike by the Saudi-led coalition hit a wedding party in northern Yemen, killing between 22 and 33 people and wounded up to 55, health officials said on Monday, as harrowing images emerged on social media of the bombing the previous day.

Khaled al-Nadhri, the top health official in the northern province of Hajja, said most of the dead were women and children who were gathered in one of the tents set up for the wedding party in the district of Bani Qayis. He says the bride was also killed.

Hospital chief Mohammed al-Sawmali said the groom and up to 45 of the wounded were taken to the local al-Jomhouri hospital.

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Footage from the scene of the attack shows scattered body parts and a young boy in a green shirt hugging a man’s lifeless body, screaming and crying.

Health ministry spokesman Abdel-Hakim al-Kahlan said ambulances were initially unable to reach the site of the bombing for fear of subsequent air strikes as the jets continued to fly overhead after the initial strike.

The Saudi-led coalition has been waging a war on Yemen’s Shiite rebels known as Houthis, who control much of the north, and the capital, Sanaa.

Over the past three years, more than 10,000 civilians have been killed and tens of thousands wounded while over 3 million people have been displaced because of the fighting.

UN officials and rights groups accused the coalition of committing war crimes and of being responsible for most of the killings. Air strikes have hit weddings, busy markets, hospitals, and schools.

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The Saudis blame the Houthi rebels, claiming they are using civilians as human shields and hiding among the civilian population.

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse

The US and European countries have also been criticised and accused of complicity in Saudi attacks in Yemen because of their support for the alliance and supplying it with billions of dollars worth of weapons.