Yemen: Saudi coalition air raids kill 20 at wedding in Hajjah

Many women and children among those killed in a wedding tent in Hajjah’s Bani Qays district, medical official says.

Map of Hajjah region in Yemen

At least 20 people have been killed in two Saudi-led coalition air attacks in northwestern Yemen, according to residents and medical personnel.

Most of the dead were women and children who were gathering in a tent set up for a wedding party in Hajjah’s Bani Qays district on Sunday, a medical official told Al Jazeera.

At least 46 people, including 30 children, were wounded in the attack, the official added.

Video footage of a boy who survived the attack was widely shared on social media, showing the child clinging to the body of what appeared to be his deceased father.

The boy refused to leave the body’s side despite pleas from first responders.

The Saudi-led coalition said it would investigate the incident.

“We take this report very seriously and it will be fully investigated as all reports of this nature are,” a spokesperson of the coalition said.

The coalition intervened in Yemen’s civil war in 2015 against Houthi rebels who overthrew the internationally recognised government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. The rebels control the capital, Sanaa.

Saudi coalition air raids have repeatedly struck civilian targets during the three-year war. The coalition says it does not target civilians but Houthi forces.

On September 28, 2015, a coalition air strike killed 131 people attending a wedding in the Red Sea village of al-Wahjiah, near the ancient port of al-Makha (Mocha).

On October 7, 2015, another air raid killed 43 people at a wedding in Sanaban village in the Dhammar governorate in Yemen.

The coalition denied having any role in both instances.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies