At last five civilians have been killed when Saudi-backed militiamen loyal to Yemen’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi launched artillery rounds at a wedding ceremony in the strategic port city of Hudaydah.
Acting Provincial Governor, Muhammad Ayyash Qahim, told Yemen’s official Saba news agency that the attack in al-Hawk district of the city took place on Friday evening.
He said five people were killed and as many injured in the incident, noting that the victims were waiting for their families to leave when they were hit.
Qahim condemned the “horrific act” committed by Saudi mercenaries and Saudi-led military forces, stressing that targeting a civilian structure is “a war crime and inconsistent with all international and humanitarian principles, and a flagrant violation of the provisions of the Stockholm agreement.”
The attack on Hudaydah comes as the strategic port city was part of an agreement clinched between the Houthi Ansarullah movement and Hadi loyalists in Sweden in December 2018.
The document included three provisions: a ceasefire along the Hudaydah front and the redeployment of armed forces out of the city and its port; an agreement on prisoner exchange; and a statement of understanding on the southern Yemeni city of Ta’izz.
‘UN mum on Saudi atrocities’
Later in the day, Qahim criticized the United Nations for its utter silence on Hudaydah shelling, telling Arabic-language al-Masirah television network that the port city “is being bombed in the face of an unjustified silence” from the world body.
The Yemeni official underlined that such a behavior has emboldened Saudi mercenaries to commit crimes, and that forces of the Saudi-led coalition do not hesitate to perpetrate criminal acts and blame others.
Official seeks Intl. probe into shelling
Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a member of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council, denounced the Saudi shelling in Hudaydah, calling for an immediate international investigation.
Houthi described the attack as “a deliberate terrorist act,” demanding a probe into the incident as well as all other crimes committed by the Saudi-led coalition against Yemen.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing Hadi’s government back to power and crushing the popular Ansarullah movement.