Saturday’s missile attack targeted a military camp in Ma’rib, where Saudi-backed militiamen loyal to the government of ex-president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi are based.
Some reports suggested that forces from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries were present at the site when the attack occurred.
The death toll increased to 116 from an early count of 83 and is expected to rise further, military and medical sources told AFP on Monday. As many as 150 others were reported to have sustained injuries.
The Saudi regime and the UAE — two key parties to a Riyadh-led coalition waging war on Yemen — blamed the raid on the Houthi movement, which has been defending the country against the massive military invasion.
However, Mohammad al-Bakhiti, a member of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council, denied any role in the missile strike in an interview with the Al Jazeera television network late on Monday.
“If we [Houthi fighters] had carried out the attack, we would have announced it publicly,” said the official.
Tens of thousands of people — most of them civilians — have been killed in the Saudi-led airstrikes and ground operations in Yemen over the past five years.
The Houthis have responded by targeting military positions deep inside Saudi Arabia or sites inside Yemen where Saudi mercenaries and military forces are deployed.
The Saudi-led war has triggered the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with the World Food Program saying that over 11 million people face a daily struggle to find enough food, and 240,000 people live in famine-like conditions.