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Air strike on Yemen wedding kills 20


At least 20 people attending a wedding party in northern Yemen, including the bride, are reported to have been killed in an air strike.

Medics and residents said more than 30 others were also injured in the attack late on Sunday in Bani Qais district.

The rebel Houthi movement blamed the raid on a Saudi-led coalition that is supporting Yemen’s government in the country’s three-year civil war.

A coalition spokesman said the reports would be “fully investigated”.

The coalition insists it never deliberately targets civilians, but human rights groups have accused it of bombing markets, schools, hospitals and residential areas.

The Houthis’ Al-Masirah TV reported that warplanes had carried out two raids on the wedding party in the rebel-held village of al-Raqa, which is about 90km (55 miles) north-west of the capital Sanaa.

The channel put the death toll at 33 and broadcast video footage purportedly from the scene that showed a young boy lying next to the body of a man, screaming and crying as rescuers try to help him.

The head of the Republican Hospital in the provincial city of Hajja told Reuters news agency on Monday that it had received 40 bodies. Another 46 people had been injured, including 30 children, the hospital chief said.

The top provincial health official, Khaled al-Nadhri, told the Associated Press that most of those killed were women and children who had gathered in one of the tents at the party. The bride was among the dead, he added.

More than 5,970 civilians have been killed and 9,490 injured since the coalition intervened in the conflict between the Houthis and forces loyal to President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi in March 2015, according to the UN.

The fighting and a partial blockade by the coalition has also left 22 million people in need of humanitarian aid, created the world’s largest food security emergency, and led to a cholera outbreak that is thought to have affected a million people.

In a separate development on Sunday, UN Secretary General António Guterres condemned the killing of an aid worker from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in southern Yemen and called on those responsible to be prosecuted.