Bride among 20 killed in 'most devastating' Saudi-led air strike on Yemen wedding

At least 20 people were killed after an air strike by the Saudi-led coalition hit a wedding party in northern Yemen, health officials said, as harrowing images of the bombing emerged on social media.

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The dead were mostly women and children - including the bride - who were gathered in one of the tents set up for the wedding party in the district of Bani Qayis, according to Khaled al-Nadhri, the top health official in the northern province of Hajja.

Hospital chief Mohammed al-Sawmali said the groom and 45 of the wounded were brought to the local al-Jomhouri hospital.

MSF Ireland said in a statement:

"Following a series of nighttime air strikes on 22 April in Bani Qays, in Yemen, a hospital supported by Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Hajjah, has received 45 wounded individuals."

Among the wounded were at least 13 children, some of whom arrived to hospital in critical condition.

"Hospital staff in Hajjah are working around the clock to treat the wounded. Last night airstrikes were among the most devastating in the area in recent months," the MSF said.

Footage from the scene of the air strike shows scattered body parts and a young boy in a green shirt hugging a man's lifeless body, screaming and crying.

Health ministry spokesman Abdel-Hakim al-Kahlan said ambulances were initially unable to reach the site of the bombing for fear of subsequent air strikes as the jets continued to fly overhead.

The Saudi-led coalition has been waging a war on Yemen's Shia rebels, known as Houthis, who control much of the north, and the capital, Sanaa, to restore the internationally recognised government to power.

Over the past three years, more than 10,000 civilians have been killed and tens of thousands wounded while more than million people have been displaced because of the fighting.

UN officials and rights groups accused the coalition of committing war crimes and of being responsible for most of the killings. Air strikes have hit weddings, busy markets, hospitals, and schools.

The Saudi-led coalition blames the Houthi rebels, saying they are using civilians as human shields and hiding among the civilian population.

The United States and European countries have also been criticised and accused of complicity in the coalition's attacks in Yemen because of their support for the alliance and for supplying it with weapons worth billions of dollars.

- PA

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