Rescue workers on Friday night were battling a blaze in the market caused by the attack and pulling bodies out of the rubble some of which were burned beyond recognition, according to Hashim Azazi, deputy governor of Hodeidah province.
“All of those killed were civilians, none were holding weapons,” said Azazi.
A coalition spokesperson was not immediately available to comment.
Khoukha and the nearby city of Hodeidah are controlled by Iran-allied Houthi fighters who in 2014 overran Yemen’s capital Sanaa and forced the Saudi-backed government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee into exile.
Yemeni government forces backed by Gulf Arab troops recaptured control of the southern Red Sea city of al-Mokha last month in a push that paved the way for an advance on Hodeidah, the country’s main port city.
In December, the coalition acknowledged that it had made “limited use” of British-made cluster bombs, but said it had stopped using them.
Nearly half of Yemen’s 22 provinces are on the verge of famine, according to the U.N. World Food Programme, as a result of the war that has drawn in regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia.
(Reporting by Abduljabbar Zeyad; Writing by Tom Finn; Editing by Toby Chopra)