Five women were killed and children were among the wounded when a projectile exploded at a New Year’s Day wedding party in Yemen’s Red Sea city of Hodeida, the latest atrocity in the war-torn nation.
The government and Huthi rebels blamed each other for the suspected artillery shell attack Friday night near Hodeida’s airport, a frontline between their forces on the edge of the key Huthi-held port.
It came just two days after at least 26 people were killed in blasts that rocked the airport of the southern city of Aden as government ministers got off a plane there.
In Hodeida, “the explosion struck at the entrance to a complex of several wedding halls”, a witness told AFP, as a party was being held for a newly-married rebel supporter.
Local officials said five women were killed, and children were among the seven others wounded, when the shell hit the wedding venue.
General Sadek Douid, the government representative in a UN-sponsored joint commission overseeing a truce, condemned it as “an odious crime committed by the Huthis against civilians”.
Hodeida’s Huthi-appointed governor, Mohammed Ayache, said on Al-Masirah television, that “the forces of aggression never hesitate to blame others for their crimes”.
The Huthis called for an international investigation into the explosion, their news agency said.