Sammad headed the Houthi-led Supreme Political Council and was the second on the Arab Coalition’s list of wanted people in Yemen, after Abdel Malek Al-Houthi.
The council, Yemen’s top governing body, also appointed Mehdi Mohammad Hussein al-Mashat as its new chairman.
“The assassination of al-Sammad will not go unpaid”, said Mohammed Abdul-Salam, a Houthi spokesman, on the rebels’ television channel, al-Masirah. No other officials offered any indication why the wedding was attacked. The death toll is expected to rise.
Eissa al-Rajihi, a Yemeni photographer who said he had visited the hospital where the survivors were taken, reported a painful scene, saying that some of the children were missing limbs or had lost eyes. About one-third of the more than 16,000 coalition airstrikes have hit non-military targets, according to the Yemen Data Project, an independent conflict monitoring group.
The Secretary-General strongly condemns the air strikes on a wedding party in Hajjah and on civilian vehicles in Taizz, where at least 50 civilians, including children, were reportedly killed and scores of others injured.
There was no immediate comment by the Saudi-led coalition.
Since then, the situation in Yemen has become the worst man-made humanitarian crisis “of our time”, according to the United Nations.
Traditionally based in Yemen’s northwest, the Houthis overran much of the country, including Sanaa, in 2014, citing anger with the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
The coalition reported no damage or loss of life from the strikes, the latest in a string of bombardments on Saudi Arabia by the Huthis. They have launched their own internal investigations into alleged civilian casualties.
“But just as unlawful coalition airstrikes don’t justify the Houthi’s indiscriminate attacks, the Saudis can’t use Houthi rockets to justify impeding life-saving goods for Yemen’s civilian population”, Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned the airstrikes on the wedding party and on civilian vehicles in Taiz and reminded all parties of their obligations under worldwide humanitarian law to protect civilians in armed conflict, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Monday.