Yemen: Saudi-led airstrike on prison kills 70

By Gozde Bayar


ANKARA (AA): At least 70 people died and 138 others were wounded in an airstrike on a prison in northern Yemen, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said on Friday.

“Last night Sa’ada City Remand Prison was hit by what was reported to be an air strike from the Saudi-led Coalition. Al-Gumhourriyeh Hospital in the city has received 138 wounded and 70 dead. They are so overwhelmed that they can’t take any more patients,” MSF said on Twitter.

The group added that there were also airstrikes in the Yemeni capital Sana’a last night, including at the airport.

“We have received reports of air strikes in many other governorates across the north of Yemen. Since this morning the internet has been completely cut off,” it added.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said more than 100 people had been killed or injured overnight in the detention center in Saada.

Emergency workers were still combing the ruined building for victims as the day went on, the Red Cross said.

Other strikes targeted a telecommunications facility in the port city of Hudaydah that led to mass internet disruptions in Yemen, while others hit in the Houthi-controlled capital of Sana’a.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sharply condemned the airstrikes and killing of prisoners.

“The Secretary-General reminds all parties that attacks directed against civilians and civilian infrastructure are prohibited by international humanitarian law,” spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

“He further reminds all parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law to ensure that civilians are protected against the dangers arising from military operations, adhering to the principles of proportionality, distinction and precaution,” he added.

Guterres further called for a “prompt, effective and transparent” probe into the attacks to “ensure accountability,” the UN said.

The coalition didn’t target the prison, Saudi Arabia’s state-run news agency SPA reported, citing the defense ministry’s spokesman.

Yemen has been engulfed by violence and instability since 2014, when Iran-aligned Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including San’aa.

A Saudi-led coalition aimed at reinstating the Yemeni government has worsened the situation, causing one of the world’s worst man-made humanitarian crises, with nearly 80% or about 30 million people needing humanitarian assistance and protection and more than 13 million in danger of starvation, according to UN estimates.

[Photo: Earlier this week, Yemenis inspect the damage after Saudi-led coalition forces carried out airstrikes on Sana’a, Yemen in response to the latest attacks on Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, by the Houthis in capital Sana’a, Yemen on January 18, 2022. Photographer: Mohammed Hamoud/AA]

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