At least 40 killed or injured in Saudi-led air strikes on Yemen wedding

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SANAA, April 23, 2018 (BSS/Xinhua) – At least 40 people were killed or wounded late on Sunday when air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition hit a wedding ceremony in Yemen’s northwestern province of Hajjah, local authorities said.

“This is an initial toll of the dead and injured collected from several hospitals until now, and a dozen of the injured are in critical condition,” senior health official Mohammed al-Ashwal told Xinhua by phone.

A security official said the warplanes twice bombed the wedding ceremony in Alrakah village of Bani Kays district.

Several houses and cars around the ceremony site were damaged in the air strikes, witnesses said.

The attack was the latest among a series of air strikes resulting in the deaths of civilians by the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi rebels in Yemen since more than three years ago.

On Friday, the coalition’s air strikes hit two civilian vehicles in the southwestern province of Taiz, killing at least 17 people who were returning home from a popular market, according to local officials and medics.

The coalition intervened in the Yemeni conflict in March 2015 to support the internationally-recognized President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi against the Shiite Houthi rebels.

The rebels have seized control over much of the country’s northern regions since September 2014, including the capital Sanaa, and forced Hadi and his government to flee to Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia.

More than 10,000 Yemenis, mostly civilians, have been killed in the conflict and three million people have been displaced, triggering one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

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