West News Wire: According to Yemen’s Houthis, a stampede that broke out during a charity handout resulted in scores of deaths and more than 100 injuries in the capital city.
Al-Houthi health officials informed AFP on Thursday that the incident in Sana’a’s Bab al-Yemen neighborhood resulted in at least “79 killed and 110 injured.”
Earlier, an interior ministry official issued a statement in which he claimed that “Dozens of people were killed due to a stampede during a random distribution of sums of money by some merchants.”
According to a statement from the interior ministry, those in charge of the distribution were detained, and the injured and deceased were brought to local hospitals.
Authorities have called for an investigation.
The distribution came days ahead of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
Videos circulating on social media showed bodies lying on the ground inside a large complex as people clamored around them.
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.
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 objective was to bring back to power the former Riyadh-backed regime and crush Houthis, which has been running state affairs in the absence of an effective government in Yemen.
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.