Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) received 63 casualties in a hospital it supports in Hajjah, following a series of night-time airstrikes by the Saudi and Emirati-led coalition on a wedding party that took place in a remote, impoverished village in Bani Qays district in Yemen, on Sunday 22 April.
The bombing was one of at least four deadly airstrikes reported in Yemen since the weekend.
On Saturday 21 April, at least 30 civilians were killed when coalition fighter jets bombed a bus carrying commuters in western Yemen, near the city of Taiz. An additional attack on Sunday night hit a house elsewhere in Hajja, killing an entire family of five, according to al-Nadhri.
On Thursday 25 April, a Saudi-led coalition airstrike killed the top civilian leader in the Houthi movement. Saleh Al-Sammad, president of the Supreme Political Council that runs Yemen’s capital of Sana’a, is also the second in command of the Houthi army. Al-Sammad is reported as the most senior official to be killed by the Western-backed alliance in the three-year-old war.
“Attacks on civilians are a serious violation of international humanitarian law. What happened in Bani Qays is appalling; among the 63 wounded our teams have treated, 13 are children.
These people arrived at the hospital in garlands traditionally worn to celebrate marriage. None were armed or arrived in military uniform,” said João Martins, MSF head of mission in Yemen.
The wounded were initially carried away from the scene by donkeys, as the only two cars in the village were damaged in the strikes. The first responders and two ambulances from the MSF-supported hospital eventually arrived in the village, but were severely delayed because the aircrafts circling overhead raised the spectre of more strikes.
“I was inside the tent when I heard the airstrikes. After that I fell down and lost consciousness. When I woke up, I saw people running away from the tent. I had been inside with my brother and the groom is my friend. One of my cousins died in this attack,” said 12-year-old Kamal.
Darees, who had also attended the wedding, left 20 minutes before the attack. When he returned he was confronted with a chaotic scene and dismembered bodies on the ground, covered in blood.
Children, he said, were frantically searching for their parents.
Warning: This video shows a young boy clinging to the body of his dead father following the wedding bombing.
“Some of the dead bodies were children. Children were playing outside while their parents attended the wedding inside the tent. That’s when the attack happened,” he said.
The injured had mainly lost limbs and suffered shrapnel wounds. At least three patients required amputation, including two brothers, who each lost a foot. By early morning, many residents of Hajjah had come to the hospital to donate blood. In two hours, 150 bags were collected to treat the wounded.
“One woman arrived at the hospital in panic, searching for her son. He was attending the wedding and she doesn’t know what happened to him. Many other women and children in the village are traumatised and don’t know what happened to their loved ones,” said Sally Thomas, MSF project coordinator in Hajjah.
“Warring parties to the conflict must respect the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution: it is prohibited to launch such attacks which may be expected to harm civilians. The rules of war have constantly been violated in Yemen. All warring parties must commit to protecting civilians, and all parties fueling the conflict by selling arms should uphold their responsibility to ensure that international laws established to protect civilians are respected,” Martins added. 
To date, the Saudi-led coalition has declined to comment on the strikes.
The footage of civilian casualties emerges following the United Nations plea to end the fighting, and the U.S. Senate grilling officials over lack of U.S. accountability for arming and refueling Saudi Coalition war planes, while the Saudis continue to blatantly disregard the rules of war, of human decency and human rights; including the Yemenis right to life, and self-governance as a sovereign nation.
The following video is first in a playlist of the most recent United Nations and U.S. Senate hearings regarding policy and humanitarian aid in the Republic of Yemen.
Apparently “The House Of Saud” prefers to act like violent and ignorant wild dogs with one primal instinct – to kill the weak and dominate the pack.
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