Saturday, May 28

Dozens killed and wounded in Saudi-led airstrikes on Yemeni cities, NGOs say


According to the Red Cross, more than 100 people have been killed or injured after an airstrike on a rebel-run prison in Yemen.

The Saudi-led attack hit a prison facility in Saada, a northwestern city controlled by Houthi rebels since 2014.

More than 100 detainees were killed or injured, said Basheer Omar, a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Yemen.

“Unfortunately, the number of casualties is likely to increase,” Omar said, adding that the Red Cross had transferred some of the injured to facilities elsewhere.

An earlier airstrike in the port city of Hodeidah also hit a telecommunications hub, knocking out Internet connectivity for many in the country.

The intense campaign comes after the Houthis claimed a drone and missile attack on an industrial zone in Abu Dhabi on Monday, killing three people and wounding six.

Save the Children says the series of airstrikes in Yemen have killed at least three children and more than 60 adults, while at least 100 others have been injured.

Aid workers and paramedics continue to clear the rubble and more victims are expected to be discovered in both cities, the NGO said.

In a separate statement, the NGO Doctors Without Borders put the number of injured alone at “around 200” people.

“There are still many bodies at the scene of the airstrike, many missing people,” Ahmed Mahat, the organization’s chief of mission in Yemen, said in a statement.

“It is impossible to know how many people have died. It appears to have been a horrific act of violence.”

Internet monitoring observatory NetBlocks said the previous airstrike in Hodeidah left Yemen facing a “collapse of internet connectivity on a national scale”.

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NetBlocks says the Internet outage began around 01:00 local time and has persisted for several hours.

The Norwegian Refugee Council denounced the attack on Hodeida as “a blatant attack on civilian infrastructure that will also affect our aid delivery.”

The Saudi-led coalition acknowledged carrying out “precise airstrikes to destroy militia capabilities” around the port of Hodeida, but did not immediately acknowledge the attack in Saada.

Saudi authorities have called Hodeidah a hub for Iranian piracy and arms smuggling to back the Houthis.

Iran has denied arming the rebels, but UN experts, independent analysts and Western nations point to evidence showing Tehran’s link to weapons.

The Saudi-led coalition entered Yemen’s civil war in 2015 to try to restore the country’s internationally recognized government, ousted by the Houthis a year earlier, to power.

The war has become the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with international criticism of Saudi airstrikes that have killed hundreds of civilians and targeted the country’s infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the Houthis have used child soldiers and planted landmines indiscriminately throughout the impoverished country. An estimated 110,000 people have been killed in the conflict so far.

On Thursday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was alarmed by ongoing airstrikes in the capital Sanaa, Hodeida and other places in Yemen, as well as separate bombing attacks.

“Yemen remains one of the most dangerous places to be a child today, and children bear the brunt of this crisis,” said Gillian Moyes, Country Director for Save the Children in Yemen.

“They are being killed and maimed, seeing their schools and hospitals destroyed and denied access to basic life-saving services.”

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“The initial casualty report from Saada is horrific,” he added.

“Migrants seeking a better life for themselves and their families, Yemeni civilians wounded by the dozens, it is an image we never expect to wake up to in Yemen.”


www.euronews.com

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