Saudi raid kills 130 at Yemen wedding

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NEW YORK: The United Nations Tuesday said that over 130 people were killed in a Saudi airstrike on a wedding ceremony in Yemen.

The strike killed at least 135 civilians, including many women and children, the UN said on Tuesday.

“This may be the single deadliest incident since the start of the conflict,” UN human rights agency spokesman Rupert Colville told reporters.

A local health official told AFP the death toll rose to 131 people after “more bodies were taken overnight to hospital and many of the wounded succumbed to their injuries.
 A doctor at Mokha’s Al-Reefi Hospital, Mayaz al-Hamadi, confirmed that 131 bodies, including women and children, had been brought in.
“Many bodies are laid on the floor because the hospital does not have the means” to accommodate the large number of fatalities, he said.
On Monday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned similar airstrikes in the village of Wahijah, outside of the Red Sea port city of Mokha in Yemen.

“The secretary general expresses his deepest condolences and sympathies to the families of the victims and a swift recovery to those injured,” said a UN statement.

“The secretary general has consistently stated that there is no military solution to the conflict in Yemen. Its continuation will only bring more human suffering and destruction.”

“Any intentional attack against civilians is considered a serious violation of international humanitarian law. Violations of international law should be investigated through prompt, effective, independent and impartial mechanisms to ensure accountability,” the UN statement added.

The UN confirmation of the deadly attack on civilians comes as Saudi Arabia had denied that its warplanes bombed the wedding ceremony. Saudi military spokesman Brigadier-General Ahmed al-Assiri said on Tuesday that the airstrike accusation was “completely false.”

Human rights watchdogs have repeatedly criticized Saudi aerial bombardment of Yemen, saying they have struck areas without any military targets. 
Saudi warplanes also bombarded the al-Baqa district in Yemen’s mountainous northwestern province of Sa’ada on Monday.
The Saudi military aircraft launched 12 airstrikes on an area in the Baqim district of the same province on the same day.

 

Over 6,200 Yemenis have reportedly lost their lives in the Saudi airstrikes, and a total of nearly 14,000 people have been injured.

 

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