85 people die in stampede in Yemen’s capital Sanaa


Sanaa: At least 85 people have died in a stampede in Yemen’s capital Sanaa as hundreds gathered in a school to receive aid, witnesses and Houthi media said on Thursday, reported Reuters.

Houthi rebels say that dozens more were injured in the incident. Several videos of the incident showing people running in large numbers and dead lying on the floor are doing rounds on social media. A crowd of people can be seen jammed together, some screaming and shouting and reaching out to be pulled to safety.

Reuters cited Al Masirah TV television news outlet run by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement as reporting that 13 persons are in critical condition. Al Masirah TV mentioned the director of health in Sanaa gave the information on the injured.

The stampede took place during the distribution of charitable donations by merchants in the final days of the holy month of Ramadan, the Houthi-controlled Ministry of Interior’s spokesperson said in a statement, Reuters mentioned in the report.

The report mentioned that hundreds of people had crowded into a school to receive the donations, which amounted to 5,000 Yemeni riyals, or about $9 per person.

According to ANI, which cited Houthi security official, at least “85 were killed and more than 322 were injured” after the stampede in the Bab al-Yemen district of Sanaa.

The dead and injured have been moved to nearby hospitals, the interior ministry said in a statement by the rebel’s Saba news agency reported ANI.

The report added, Abdul Khaliq Al-Ajri, a spokesman with the ministry, was quoted by the TV as saying that the authorities have arrested two merchants responsible for the uncoordinated distribution of money and are probing the incident.

Notably, Yemen has been hit by a civil war since late 2014, when the Iran-backed Houthi militia seized control of several northern provinces and forced the Saudi-backed Yemeni government out of the capital Sanaa. The war has resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, displaced 4 million and pushed Yemen to the brink of starvation.

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