Thursday, May 26

Yemen: Over 200 Killed or Wounded After Airstrike on Prison | Yemen

More than 200 people are feared dead or injured in an airstrike on a prison in Yemen and at least three children were killed in another airstrike as the country’s long-running conflict escalated dramatically.

Houthi rebels released gruesome video footage on Friday showing bodies amid the rubble and mangled corpses from the prison attack, which brought down jail buildings in their northern heartland of Saada.

Further south, in the port city of Hodeidah, children were killed when Saudi-led coalition airstrikes hit a telecommunications facility while they were playing nearby, Save the Children said. Yemen also suffered a nationwide internet blackout.

“Children were reportedly playing on a nearby soccer field when missiles fell,” Save the Children said.

The attacks come five days after the Houthis took the seven-year war into a new phase by claiming a drone and missile attack on Abu Dhabi that killed three people.

The United Arab Emirates, part of the Saudi-led coalition fighting the rebels, has threatened retaliation.

Aid workers said hospitals were overwhelmed in Saada after the prison attack, with one receiving 200 wounded, according to Doctors Without Borders.

Basheer Omar, a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Yemen, told AFP: “There are more than 100 dead and wounded… the numbers are increasing.”

Other sources said that 60 had died.

Ahmed Mahat, head of mission for Médecins Sans Frontières in Yemen, said: “There are still many bodies at the scene of the airstrike, many missing people.”

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

The United Nations security council will meet on Friday in an emergency session on the Houthi attacks on the United Arab Emirates, at the request of the Gulf state, which has held one of the council’s non-permanent seats since January 1.

The United Arab Emirates is part of the Saudi-led coalition that has been fighting the rebels since 2015, in an intractable conflict that has displaced millions of Yemenis and left them on the brink of famine.

The coalition claimed responsibility for the attack on Hodeida, a vital port for the shattered country, but did not say it had carried out any attacks on Saada.

Saudi Arabia’s state news agency said the coalition carried out “precision air strikes… to destroy the capabilities of the Houthi militia in Hodeidah.”

Yemen’s civil war began in 2014 when the Houthis descended from their base in Saada to invade the capital, Sana’a, prompting Saudi-led forces to step in to prop up the government the following year.

Tensions have soared in recent weeks after the UAE-backed Giants Brigade drove rebels out of Shabwa province, undermining their months-long campaign to take the key northern city of Marib. .

Yemen’s civil war has been a catastrophe for millions of its citizens who have fled their homes, many on the brink of famine in what the UN calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The UN has estimated that the war killed 377,000 people by the end of 2021, both directly and indirectly through famine and disease.

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