At least 25 Yemenis killed by rocket attack at wedding

Village residents say brothers were waiting for bridal party when missile hit house

Three brothers preparing to get married were killed in a rocket attack alongside at least 22 other people in southwest Yemen on Thursday, residents reported, saying Saudi-led coalition jets were probably to blame.

The three brothers were waiting for their brides’ party to arrive when a missile hit their house in the town of Sanban in Dhamar region, said residents. At least 50 people were wounded, but the brides were unharmed, locals and medics added.

Officials and residents have accused the Saudi-led forces, battling Iran-backed Houthis in the Arabian Peninsula nation, of killing civilians in two other attacks over the past two weeks.

The coalition, which is trying to restore Yemen’s ousted President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, also faced international criticism after a strike killed more than 130 people at a wedding party on September 28th.

A coalition spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment, but the Arab alliance says it does not target civilians and has accused the Houthis of carrying out the other attacks.

The Houthi-run Saba news agency reported that a coalition air raid in Sanban had killed or wounded dozens of people at a wedding celebration and that the toll might exceed 30.

Medics from the Dhamar governorate said at least 25 died.

The Arab coalition began its air strikes against the Houthis and their allies, forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, in late March after a push from their northern stronghold towards the southern port of Aden.

The coalition, which says the Houthis are stooges of Iran, stepped up air strikes on Yemen's capital Sanaa and other Houthi-held areas after a Houthi missile killed more than 60 Gulf Arab troops stationed in Marib province on September 4th.

Separately on Thursday, a prominent judge and a senior army officer were shot dead by unidentified gunmen on motorcycles in two separate incidents, said security sources, adding that Islamist militants were suspected of the killings.

Abbas Hassan al-Aqrabi, a judge at the Special Criminal Court which had jailed militants, was shot on the street in the port of Aden. Col Jamal al-Suqqaf was shot outside his home in western Aden. Both men died immediately, the sources said.

The two killings followed coordinated explosions on Tuesday claimed by Islamic State at the Qasr Hotel, where Yemen’s government was temporarily based, and at a United Arab Emirates military base, killing 15 people including four Gulf soldiers.