Yemen: 100 killed in Saudi-led raid on prison

2nd Sep 2019
Yemen: 100 killed in Saudi-led raid on prison

SANA’A, Yemen (AA): At least 100 people were killed and scores injured in a Saudi-led coalition airstrike on a prison in southwestern Yemen, International Red Cross said Sunday.  At least 40 survivors were being treated for their injuries in hospitals in the city, south of the capital, Sana’a.

Earlier, the Houthi-run Health Ministry said 50 bodies were found in a detention facility struck by Saudi-led coalition warplanes in the city of Dhamar.

Western backed Saudi-led coalition said in a statement the airstrikes targeted a site storing drones and missiles.

“The coalition has taken all measures to avoid civilian casualties during airstrikes on the site,” said coalition spokesman Col. Turki al-Malki.

Local residents, however, said it was a detention center in the city that was hit.

“The prison is known to the coalition and the Red Cross, which visited the site several times,” Abdul-Qadir al-Murtada, the head of a Houthi-run committee for prisoner affairs, said on Facebook.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), meanwhile, appeared to suggest that the site was a detention facility.

“We are taking these reports extremely seriously,” Franz Rauchenstein, the ICRC head of delegation in Yemen, said on Twitter.

“I am on my way to Dhamar Yemen to assess the situation. We have visited detainees in this location before, as we do in other places as part of our work.”

In 2015, a Houthi-run detention center in Dhamar was struck by a Saudi-led coalition airstrike, killing at least 25 prisoners.

At the time, the Saudi-backed Yemeni government accused Houthi rebels of using prisoners as human shields.

Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when the Houthi group overran much of the country, including the capital Sana’a.

The conflict escalated the following year when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains in Yemen and supporting the country’s pro-Saudi government.

More than 70,000 people have been killed in the raging conflict since 2016, according to UN estimates.

Additional report by The Muslim News

[Photo: Yemen Red Crescent members trying to find bodies of the prisoners after coalition forces led by Saudi Arabia bombed a prison in Dhamar, Yemen on September 01, 2019. Photographer: Mohammed Hamoud/AA]

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