The death toll from an air strike on a wedding party in Yemen has jumped to 131, medics said on Tuesday, in one of the deadliest attacks on civilians in Yemen's war that drew strong condemnation from the U.N. secretary-general.
A Saudi-led Arab coalition that has air supremacy over Yemen has strongly denied any role in the wedding party carnage, and a coalition spokesman suggested that local militias may have fired the projectiles.
The U.S.-backed coalition has been targeting the Iranian-allied Houthis mostly by air across Yemen since March with the goal of ousting the war's dominant armed faction from regions it has seized since last year, including the capital Sanaa in the north, and to restore President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
Residents said on Monday that two missiles tore through tents in the Red Sea village of Al-Wahijah, near the ancient port of Al-Mokha, where a local man affiliated with the Houthi group was holding his wedding reception.
The area is deemed the gateway to the Bab al-Mandeb strait connecting the Red Sea with the Arabian Sea, a vital route for oil tanker and other maritime traffic between Asia and Europe.