The bride was reportedly among the dead and the groom was hospitalised along with 30 children when the air strike hit the wedding in the northern province of Hajja.

Smoke billows following an air strike by a Saudi-led coalition on Yemen's rebel-held capital Sanaa on April 5, 2018.
Smoke billows following an air strike by a Saudi-led coalition on Yemen's rebel-held capital Sanaa on April 5, 2018. (AFP)

An air strike by the Saudi-led coalition hit a wedding party in northern Yemen, killing at least 20 people, health officials said on Monday, as harrowing images emerged on social media of the deadly bombing, the third to hit Yemeni civilians since the weekend.

Khaled al Nadhri, the top health official in the northern province of Hajja, told The Associated Press that 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 among the dead.

Hospital chief Mohammed al Sawmali said the groom and 45 of the wounded were brought to the local Al Jomhouri hospital. Health authorities appealed to people to donate blood.

Ali Nasser al Azib, deputy head of the hospital, said 30 children were among the wounded, some in critical condition with shrapnel wounds and severed limbs.

Footage that emerged from the scene of the air strike 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.

This was the third deadly air strike in Yemen since the weekend. Another air strike on Sunday night hit a house elsewhere in Hajja, killing an entire family of five, according to Nadhri.

On Saturday, at least 20 civilians were killed in an air strike by the Saudi-led coalition after fighter jets bombed a bus carrying commuters near the war-torn district of Mowza in western Yemen, near the city of Taiz which has been locked in fighting for three years.

The Saudi-led coalition declined to comment on the strikes when reached by the AP. The coalition has been waging a war on Yemen's Shia rebels known as Houthis, who control much of the north, and the capital, Sanaa, to restore the internationally recognized government to power.

According to the independent monitor Yemen Data Project, a third of the 16,847 air strikes since the war started have hit non-military targets.

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.

The Saudi-led coalition blames the Houthis, saying they are using civilians as human shields and hiding among the civilian population. The United States and European countries have also been criticised and accused of complicity in the coalition's attacks in Yemen because of their support for the alliance and for supplying it with weapons worth billions of dollars.

Saudi Arabia meanwhile has faced a flurry of attacks by the Houthis, with the kingdom's defense forces saying they have intercepted missiles targeting the capital, Riyadh, and other cities.

Source: AP