The bombing of a wedding party in Yemen by an apparent Saudi Arabia airstrike has killed over 130 people, medics said on Tuesday. Riyadh, who has air supremacy in the area, denied responsibility for the tragedy.
Two missiles tore through two tents in the Al-Wahijah village in southwestern Yemen, where a wedding celebration was underway. The initial count on Monday said dozens were killed.
Witnesses spoke of having seen mutilated bodies sprawled on the ground after the attack. Many of the dead appear to have been women and children.
A senior official in the Yemeni government told AP that attack was conducted by a Saudi-led coalition which struck the wedding by “mistake.”
The coalition rejected the accusations saying that it did not carry out any airstrikes in the region.
“There have been no air operations by the coalition in that area for three days. This is totally false news,” Coalition spokesman Brigadier-General Ahmed al-Asseri told Reuters.
“The coalition knows its responsibility and will always acknowledge a mistake if we make it. Take into consideration the chaotic situation in Yemen, with several armed elements and forces active around the country. Also, people sometimes cannot distinguish between canon, mortar and Katyusha (multiple launch rocket systems),” he added.
The incident comes just a day after Saudi-led coalition helicopters reportedly killed more than 30 people – primarily civilians – in a northern Yemeni village.
The Saudi-led coalition launched its anti-Houthi campaign in March, 2015, after the “Ansar Allah” Houthi movement captured huge territories in Yemen including the capital of Sana’a and the country’s second largest city, Aden. Official UN figures illustrate that almost 4,900 people have been killed since Saudi forces began their bombardment of Yemen.