The death toll from an alleged Saudi air strike on a wedding party in Yemen on 28 September has reached 131 according to medics, in one of the deadliest attacks on civilians in the country. Saudi Arabia has denied launching the aerial bombardment that caused the wedding party carnage, which took place in Al-Wahijah, a village near the Red Sea port of Al-Mokha.
A coalition spokesman suggested that local militias may have been responsible for the raid. Brigadier-General Ahmed Al Asseri told Reuters: "There have been no air operations by the coalition in that area for three days. This is totally false news."
The strike hit two tents during a wedding for a local man linked to the Houthis. On 28 September a security source put the death toll at 38, with at least 40 people injured. A medical source at a local hospital in Maqbana, where the casualties were taken, told Reuters on 29 September that the death toll from the attack had risen to 131.
According to Yemeni experts on Twitter, the strike killed dozens of women and injured many more children. Other reports from the village said 12 women, eight children and seven men had been killed, with dozens more wounded, according to AP.
Yemen security officials said two Saudi missiles targeted the celebration "by mistake". The US-backed, Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out air strikes against the Shi'ite Houthi rebels since March in a conflict that has killed at least 2,100 civilians, according to the UN.
UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, during his speech at the UN General Assembly in New York, urged Saudi Arabia to stop its air strikes. "I call for an end to the bombings. Let me be clear: there is no military solution to the conflict". In a meeting with Saudi Arabian foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir, he called for increased humanitarian access.