Air strikes by a Saudi-led military coalition killed at least 20 people attending a wedding in a village in northwestern Yemen late on Sunday, residents and medical sources said.
The head of Al Jumhouri hospital in Hajjah told Reuters by telephone that the hospital had received 40 bodies, most of them torn to pieces, and that 46 people had been injured, including 30 children, in air strikes that hit a wedding gathering.
Residents and medics told Reuters that 20 people attending the celebration were killed and at least 30 injured.
“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 told Reuters.
Residents of a village called Taiba elsewhere in the province told Reuters that a separate air strike killed a family of four in their house on Sunday night.
The Western-backed alliance has been fighting a war for three years against the armed Houthi movement which controls the area and much of northern Yemen.
It has launched thousands of air strikes in a campaign to restore the internationally recognized government. Errant strikes have killed hundreds of civilians at hospitals, schools and markets.
Al-Masirah, the TV station of the armed Houthi movement which controls the area and much of northern Yemen, said on its Twitter account that 33 people had been killed and 55 wounded.
The coalition says it does not target civilians and has set up an investigation committee into alleged mass casualty air strikes which have mostly cleared the coalition of any blame.
The Yemen war has killed more than 10,000 people, displaced more than 2 million and driven the country to the verge of famine, according to the United Nations.
This was the third deadly airstrike in war-torn Yemen to have hit the civilians in recent days.
The harrowing images that emerged from the site showed scattered body parts and a young boy hugging a man’s lifeless body, mourning the loss of a beloved.
Although a catastrophe like this is heart-wrenching for everyone, the incident was particularly tragic for the groom – not even in his worst nightmares he would have imagined his wedding day to turn into a senseless massacre.
According to the Yemeni photographer Eissa al-Rajihi, the groom suffered shrapnel injuries.
"He was speechless and appeared in a bad psychological state as some of his relatives had been killed," Rajhi said.
According to Health Ministry spokesman Abdel-Hakim al-Kahlan, ambulances didn’t reach the site of attack immediately, as they feared another airstrike since jets continued to fly overhead.
The ongoing conflict in Yemen started in 2015 when a Saudi-led coalition started bombing the country with support from the United States and United Kingdom. Saudi Arabia continues to blame the Houthi rebels of using civilians as human shield, but regardless of what they say, the biggest victims in the entire equation remain Yemeni civilians.
People are calling out the U.S. and European countries who have not only been a complicit in the coalition attacks in Yemen, but have also not condemned the recent tragedy.
If #Assad had done this Britain would condemn this as a war crime but as these deaths were caused by Saudi Arabia who we make make billions from by selling them weapons of death, it's just a regrettable incident. https://t.co/RSY3rAS8KD— Harry Leslie Smith (@Harryslaststand) April 23, 2018
If this airstrike on a wedding had been 'by Russia or Assad', it would be condemned by US UK govts and on every US UK front page. But it isn't, because these civilians were killed by US UK ally #SaudiArabia in #Yemen, using US UK supplied aircraft & bombshttps://t.co/VUwb9QfdxU— Charles Shoebridge (@ShoebridgeC) April 23, 2018
In Yemen today, the Saudis bombed a wedding, killing at least 20 people, including the bride. They killed "mostly women and children." The US & UK - who some believe do humanitarian interventions - both play vital roles in the Saudi destruction of Yemen https://t.co/496jXAigq7— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 23, 2018
Another day, another Yemeni wedding party hit by Saudi-led precision bombers. Mostly women and children killed. Third strike on Yemeni civilians since the weekend. All with US/UK/French arms and support. https://t.co/vT7YPDpH11— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) April 23, 2018
Three strikes by Saudi Arabia with full support of U.S. military killed civilians in Yemen in past three days:— Kevin Gosztola (@kgosztola) April 23, 2018
—20 killed at a wedding, including the bride
—Family of five killed in their home
—At least 20 commuters killed on bushttps://t.co/MZviAp8Qcl
Banner Image credits: REUTERS/NaifRahma