Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Dozens killed, hundreds injured in Yemen stampede

At least 78 people have been killed and hundreds more injured in a stampede in Yemen’s capital Sanaa due to a stampede that broke out during a charity distribution, Houthi officials and media say.

The stampede happened late on Wednesday as hundreds of people crowded into a school in Sanaa in the hope of getting a charitable donation of about $10 that was being handed out by merchants to mark the final days of Ramadan.

Footage broadcast by the Houthis’ Al Masirah TV channel showed bodies packed together, with people climbing on top of each other to try and make their way through.

Many had their mouths covered by other people’s hands, the rest of their bodies engulfed by the dense crowd, the footage showed.

Separate photos released by the Houthis, who control the capital, showed bloodstains, shoes and victims’ clothing scattered on the ground with investigators were seen examining the area.

At least 78 people have been killed in the stampede in Sanaa, according to Houthi officials.

More than 300 people were hurt, the AFP news agency reported, citing a Houthi security official. At least 73 of the injured were taken to the al-Thowra Hospital in Sanaa, according to hospital deputy director Hamdan Bagheri, with families rushing to hospitals to try and find their loved ones.

The Ministry of Interior’s spokesperson Brig Abdel-Khaleq al-Aghri has described the incident as “tragic” blaming the “random distribution” of funds without coordination with local authorities.

A new UN report says millions of Yemenis are now facing hunger. The UN has described the situation in Yemen as the world’s “worst humanitarian crisis,” caused by seven years of war and a tight siege launched by Riyadh and its regional allies against the poor Middle Eastern country.

More than 21 million people in Yemen, or two-thirds of the country’s population, need assistance and protection, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Saudi Arabia, in collaboration with its Arab allies and with arms and logistics support from the US and other Western states, launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015.

The war has stopped well short of all of its goals, despite killing hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and turning the entire country into the scene of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has warned that over 25.5 million Yemenis are living beneath the poverty line due to the repercussions of the Saudi-led war in the impoverished country.

The UN migration agency announced that seven years of war in Yemen also caused the displacement of more than 4 million people in the country.

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