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15 Killed After Yemen Airstrike Hits Wedding

  • VOA News

Suspected airstrikes by a Saudi Arabia-led coalition have hit a wedding in war-torn Yemen, according to witnesses and officials, killing at least 15 people and wounding at least 25 others.

The attacks hit a home late Wednesday in the Sanban region of Dhamar province, which is held by Shi'ite Houthi rebels being targeted by the months-long coalition bombing campaign.

The Riyadh-based alliance had no immediate comment on the incident.

The coalition has been repeatedly accused of carrying out deadly attacks in Yemen. The U.N. says as many as 1,100 civilians have been killed in six months of airstrikes.

It is the second time in 10 days the coalition has been accused of targeting a wedding. The coalition denied responsibility for a September 28 attack that killed more than 130 people at a wedding near the Red Sea coast, in what was the single deadliest incident since the conflict began.

Saudi coalition

The Saudi coalition, which includes nine other Arab nations and is supported by the U.S., began fighting the rebels in March, two months after the Houthis drove the government from power and took control of the capital, Sana'a.

Backed by the airstrikes, pro-government forces have since retaken several areas of southern Yemen, and also have driven the rebels out of the country's second-largest city, Aden.

Earlier Wednesday, the Houthis announced they have accepted a U.N.-brokered peace plan and are ready to join peace talks aimed at ending the bloody conflict.

President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi has insisted Houthi fighters pull back from territory seized over the past year before his government will participate in the talks.

The United Nations and aid agencies have raised alarm about the human cost of the war.

On Wednesday, the rights group Amnesty International said the Saudi-led coalition is guilty of war crimes and urged countries to stop supplying arms to the coalition.

"Damning evidence of war crimes by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, which is armed by states including the U.S.A., highlights the urgent need for independent, effective investigation of violations and for the suspension of transfers of certain arms," Amnesty said.

The fighting and Saudi-led airstrikes on the Houthis have killed about 5,000 people and created a humanitarian disaster. Many Yemenis are in desperate need of food and medicine, and the country is said to be in a near state of famine.

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