11 killed in airstrike at wedding party in Yemen

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Sanaa, July 4 (IANS) An airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition hit a wedding party in Yemen’s northern province of Saada on Tuesday, Killing 11 civilians and wounding 11 others, a local security official said.

The airstrike targeted the wedding ceremony in Ghafirah village of al-Thahir district, the official said, speaking to Xinhua by phone on condition of anonymity.

He said most of the victims were women and children.

There is no independent confirmation of the alleged airstrike and the civilian casualties, while the Saudi-led coalition has not commented on it.

The coalition always denies targeting civilians, insisting that its airstrikes only aim at the rebels’ hideouts.

Saada is the key stronghold of the Iranian-allied Shiite Houthi rebels fighting the Saudi-led coalition forces.

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If confirmed, the Tuesday’s attack was the latest in a series of airstrikes that resulted in the deaths of civilians in Yemen.

On Monday, a coalition airstrike hit near a school in Zabid district in Yemen’s western Red Sea port city of Hodeidah province, Killing three residents and injuring four others, according to official reports by both warring forces.

The impoverished Arab country has been locked in a civil war since the Houthi rebels overran much of Yemen militarily and seized all northern provinces in 2014, including the capital Sanaa.

Saudi Arabia leads an Arab military coalition that has intervened in the Yemen war since 2015 to support the government of exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

More than 10,000 Yemenis, mostly civilians, have been killed in the war, and about 3 million others have been displaced.

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–IANS

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