Coalition denies hitting wedding hall in Yemen

At least 38 people, including women and children, killed in attack on wedding party in southwest Yemen.

    The Saudi-led coalition has been fighting the Houthis across Yemen since March [Reuters]
    The Saudi-led coalition has been fighting the Houthis across Yemen since March [Reuters]

    The Arab coalition fighting in Yemen has denied responsibility for an air strike at a wedding hall in southwest Yemen that killed at least 38 people, including women and children.

    "There have been no air operations by the coalition in that area for three days," coalition spokesman Brigadier-General Ahmed al-Asseri told Reuters.

    "This is totally false news."

    Yemeni security officials said dozens more people were injured in the attack that took place in the village of al-Wahijah on Monday. 

    Along with the bodies of the dead, the injured were taken to the nearby port city of Mokha, which is reportedly controlled by Houthi rebels. 

    The Saudi-led coalition has been attacking the Houthis across Yemen since March, trying to dislodge them from areas they have seized since last year and to restore President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

    Residents told Reuters that two missiles tore through tents used by a man affiliated with the Houthis for his wedding reception in al-Wahijah.

    Al-Wahijah is located in Taiz province, which the Houthis captured in March as they began advancing on the southern port city of Aden, where Hadi was based before he was forced to flee to Saudi Arabia.

    Last week, Hadi returned from Saudi Arabia, where he has been in exile since fleeing in March. 

    Human rights groups have repeatedly criticised the coalition's aerial bombardment of Yemen, saying they have struck areas without any military targets.

    They have also accused the Houthis of war crimes for what they have called "indiscriminate" shelling of civilian-populated areas.

    The United Nations says nearly 4,900 people, including a vast number of civilians, have been killed in Yemen's conflict since late March.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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