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Yemen: Saudi coalition strikes wedding, kills bride and guests

Yemeni people search for those who are caught under the rubble of destroyed buildings after Saudi airstrikes hit Yemen on 14 March 2017 [Mohamed Al-Siraji/Twitter]
People search for those caught under the rubble of destroyed buildings after Saudi air strikes hit Yemen on 14 March 2017 [Mohamed Al-Siraji/Twitter]

A deadly Saudi-led coalition air strike massacred a wedding party in Yemen yesterday, killing more than 20 guests and injuring some 45, the Washington Post reported.

The air strikes struck the Hajjah governorate’s Bani Qais district in northern Yemen which is under Houthi control. The victims – 30 of whom were children – were rushed to the local Al Jumhouri hospital.

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

The Houthi armed group’s website reported that some 88 Yemenis were killed in the attack, and more than 50 were injured.

The Saudi-led coalition has executed air strikes in Yemen since March 2015 after internationally backed President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi requested it intervene in the civil conflict.

“Such mistakes are unacceptable and the Saudi-led coalition must launch an investigation,” youth activist Murad Abdu told MEMO.

Read: There are too many lost childhoods in Yemen

“By targeting civilians, the Houthis benefit by mobilising more tribal fighters and also accusing the Saudi-led coalition of committing war crimes.”

“We should question whether the Yemeni army commanders on the ground sent the wrong information to Saudi Arabia’s military command,” Abdu continued.

The United States has been supporting the Saudi-led coalition with “non-combat advisory and coordinating” support to target the Houthi armed group.

According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, the laws of war prohibit attacks on civilians that are not discriminate or attacks that cause civilian loss disproportionate to the expected military advantage.

#YemeniCrisis 

Last year, Saudi Arabia targeted a residential flat in the capital Sana’a killing 12 Yemenis, six of them children. After some investigation, the Saudi-led coalition blamed a “technical error” for the “unintentional accident”.

Three years after the Saudi-led coalition entered the conflict, Yemen has witnessed more than 10,000 deaths according to the United Nations and civilians remain trapped in the middle of cross fire, with dwindling supplies of basic amenities and lack of access to sufficient water, sanitation and food.

Read: Intervention in the Middle East is always about national interests, not human suffering

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