Attack on Yemen wedding party kills at least 28 civilians

Suspected Saudi-led coalition air strike on wedding party in wartorn Yemen kills at least 28 people and injures many others

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Smoke rises from site of Saudi-led air strike in Yemen's capital Sanaa September 26, 2015 (Archive)

Witnesses and officials have reported that at least 28 people were killed and 10 wounded on Thursday in an air strike which targeted a wedding celebration in a village in southwestern Yemen.

There have been no claims of responsibility however witnesses believe the Saudi-led Arab coalition intervening in the country to push back the Shiite Houthi rebels operating there was behind the attack. 

Taha al-Zuba, a resident said, “Coalition warplanes launched the attack.”

“Warplanes were heard in the area ahead of the attack,” he added

The coalition says it does not target civilians. 

Brigadier General Ahmed al-Assiri, spokesman for the coalition, said, "We did not conduct any operation in Dhamar [the area where the strike took place]... No strikes there, definitely."

A similar attack was seen on September 28 when coalition warplanes allegedly carried out a mass attack on a wedding in Yemen which killed 131 people. 

Medics and witnesses reported that Thursday’s bombing targeted a house hosting the wedding party in Sanban, 100km south of Yemen’s capital Sanaa.

Residents said that three brothers who were waiting for the brides party to arrive to the house were amongst the many killed.

The Houthi-run Saba news agency reported that the ultimate death toll from the coalition air raid could be greater than 30. 

Human rights group Amnesty International on Wednesday called for a halt to the transfer of arms to the Saudi-led coalition which it claims has been carrying out "war crimes."

The report published by Amnesty International also said that there was an “urgent need for independent, effective investigation of violations in Yemen.”

Meanwhile, a UN spokesman said on Wednesday that the Houthis and their allies have confirmed they are willing to enter peace talks with the Saudi-led coalition.

Yemen has been suffering from clashes since March, when the Houthis seized the country's capital Sanaa and advanced towards Aden, forcing Hadi and his government to flee to Saudi Arabia.

The six-month-long war in the country has triggered an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Yemen. The UN declared the situation in Yemen to be a level-three humanitarian emergency, the highest on its scale, after about 80 percent of the country’s population fell into dire need of humanitarian aid.

Twenty million people in the country are in need of aid, 13 million are facing food shortages and 9.4 million are having difficulties accessing drinking water.

According to the United Nations, around 4,900 people, including more than 2,100 civilians, have been killed in fighting and air strikes since the operations carried out by Saudi-led coalition started on March 26.

TRTWorld and agencies