Local hospitals have been overwhelmed with victims, officials say
Houthi rebels are fighting pro-government forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition
Airstrikes hit a wedding celebration in a rebel-held portion of Yemen, killing at least 30 people, local officials said, amid a months-long conflict in which a Saudi-led coalition has bombed rebel areas.
It wasn’t initially clear who had carried out Wednesday’s strikes in the southwestern town of Sanabani.
Dozens were unaccounted for after the bombing, and hospitals have been overwhelmed with victims, three local security officials said.
The Houthi rebels are locked in a bitter conflict with forces loyal to the government of deposed Yemeni President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi. The pro-government fighters have the support of a Saudi-led coalition that has been bombing Houthi-held areas since March.
Coalition forces said they have no ongoing operations in the southwestern Yemeni province where Wednesday’s bombing happened.
“Not every explosion that takes place in Yemen is an airstrike – it could be a missile, car bomb or weapons cache,” coalition spokesman Ahmed Asseri said.
Civilians have suffered heavily amid the violence and disruption caused by the war in the impoverished nation – and weddings have been struck previously.
Airstrikes hit a marriage ceremony last week in the southwestern province of Taiz, killing at least 131 people and wounding scores of others, the Houthi-controlled news agency Saba reported.
The news agency and Yemeni security officials accused the Saudi-led coalition of carrying out the bombing. The coalition denied the allegation, saying it didn’t have any operations in that area.
Months of fighting in Yemen have left at least 4,000 civilians dead, according to the Houthi-controlled Health Ministry.
Journalist Hakim Almasmari reported from Sanaa, and CNN’s Jethro Mullen wrote from Hong Kong. CNN’s Merieme Arif and Schams Elwazer contributed to this report.