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Saudi-led coalition denies striking Yemen wedding

AFP , Thursday 8 Oct 2015
Hassan al-Asiri
The official spokesman for the Saudi Ministry of Defense Gen. Ahmed Hassan al-Asiri speaks during news conference in Riyadh March 26, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)
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The Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-backed rebels in Yemen denied on Thursday that its warplanes bombed a wedding for the second time in days, dismissing the report as rebel propaganda.

"We did not conduct any operation in Dhamar," the rebel-held province south of the capital Sanaa where the alleged strike took place, coalition spokesman Brigadier General Ahmed al-Assiri told AFP.

"No strikes there. Definitely."

Medics said they received 13 dead and 38 wounded after an explosion on Wednesday evening at a wedding party in the town of Sanban, 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of Sanaa.

Residents and rebels said the explosion was caused by a coalition air strike.

"Coalition warplanes launched the attack. The house was completely destroyed," said witness and local resident Taha al-Zuba.

The rebels' Almasirah television said on Twitter that the wedding was hit by "aggression warplanes," referring to the coalition.

It was the second time in little over a week that the coalition had denied an alleged air strike on a wedding party.

In September, a suspected coalition strike killed at least 131 civilians at a wedding near the Red Sea city of Mokha, which the UN said may have been the deadliest hit since March.

Assiri said that incident too was "fake".

"It is a new media strategy coming from the militia," who have lost territory on the ground in Yemen, he said.

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