Death toll rises to 50 in Saudi-led raid on Yemeni wedding

Published October 8th, 2015 - 04:54 GMT

At least 51 civilians are dead - including three brides and two grooms - after two airstrikes on a wedding party in a rebel-held town in Yemen, a  health official said Thursday.

Health Ministry spokesman Tamim al-Shami said the strikes were launched Wednesday night by forces with the Saudi-led coalition seeking to restore the country's internationally recognized government. The ministry is controlled by the Houthi rebels, who overran much of the country a year ago.

The missiles hit a pavilion hosting a wedding for three couples in the town of Sanban, around 100 kilometres south of the rebel-held capital Sana'a.

Thirty others, including children, were wounded in the raids, al-Shami told dpa.

Yehia al-Mujahed, a local council member, accused the Saudi-led alliance of mounting the attack.

"The raids targeted the pavilion when the traditional procession of three brides and their grooms arrived at the site."

However, the spokesman for Yemen's pro-government army, Samir al-Haj, blamed the bombing on the Houthi rebels.

"Dozens were killed in shelling of the wedding ceremony by the Houthi militia," he told Saudi broadcaster Al Arabiya, referring to Yemen's Iran-backed rebels.

Last month, 131 people were killed in a suspected-coalition airstrike at a wedding party in the Red Sea port of Mocha.

At the time, the alliance denied responsibility for the strike, thought to be the deadliest since Saudi Arabia and fellow Sunni partners started an air campaign in Yemen against the mostly Shiite rebels.

More than 2,000 civilians have since been killed in Yemen's conflict, according to the United Nations.

© 2021 dpa GmbH

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