At least 35 people were killed in air strikes that hit a hotel near a Houthi-controlled outpost outside the Yemeni capital Sanaa, a medic said, and a Saudi-led coalition spokesman said it conducted the strike against its Houthi adversary.
The coalition spokesman said a “legitimate military high-value target” was hit in Arhab district, north of Sanaa. “The ones who perished were members of an armed renegade group,” he said in a reference to the Houthis who are aligned with Iran.
The roof of the hotel collapsed, leaving at least two bodies dangling from the building in the Arhab area, about 20 km (13 miles) from Sanaa, a Reuters witness said.
Al-Masira TV, which is run by the armed Houthi group that controls northern Yemen, quoted the Sanaa governorate as saying the death toll had risen to at least 46 “martyrs”. It did not immediately make a direct reference to civilians or fighters.
Yehia Hussein, an emergency worker in the Houthi-controlled area, said “Saudi-American aggressors” targeted the hotel, which had been hosting around 100 people.
Medics found 35 corpses as well as body parts, he said. “There are almost 13 wounded and the rest of the victims are still under the rubble,” Hussein added.
The ground-floor structure of the grey concrete building was still standing but the upper level was reduced to rubble with metal wires splayed into the air.
Men searched through the rubble, while others carried a body in a blanket to a white van.
“The Joint Forces Command vetted incoming information through its intelligence sources that confirmed the arrival of a group of armed militants to one of the buildings,” the coalition spokesman, Colonel Turki al-Malki, told Reuters in a statement.