At least 70 people have died and 138 are injured in a bombing attributed to the Saudi-led military coalition against a detention center located in Saada, a stronghold of the Houthi rebels in northern Yemen, according to a government official. international aid groups and the rebels who control the area New York Times. Another attack has also left the entire country without internet connection.
The bodies of the victims have arrived at the morgues of three hospitals in the city of Saada, capital of the province of the same name and close to the border with Saudi Arabia, while rescue and search operations continue at the scene of the attack that took place. this Friday morning.
“There are still many bodies at the scene of the attack and many people are missing,” said Ahmed Mahat, head of the Médecins Sans Frontières mission in Yemen. it’s a statement. “It is impossible to know how many people have died. It appears to have been a horrific act of violence.”
Migrant detention center
The target of the bombing was a two-story building that served as a detention center for defendants awaiting trial, many of them African migrants arriving in Yemen and trying to irregularly enter Saudi Arabia, a country bordering Saada.
Residents of the city have assured that Arab coalition planes have carried out three consecutive bombings, but the alliance led by Riyadh has not confirmed the military action, although it has launched others against the city of Al Hudaydah, in southwestern Yemen.
For his part, the Minister of Health of the Houthi Government, Taha al Mutawakil, told the Al Masira television channel that the bodies recovered so far are 65 and the wounded, 138.
It has also called for international organizations and NGOs to send medical supplies, equipment and medical planes to treat and evacuate the wounded. Al Mutawakil has said that the Yemeni health system cannot cope with this “emergency”, especially in Saada, where hospitals lack the fuel to run all the electrical generators at the moment. Doctors Without Borders has said that the Republic Hospital in Saada could not admit any more wounded.
The coalition air attack during the early hours of this Friday has affected a telecommunications center in the port city of Al Hudaydah, which has left the country without Internet, according to an official from the Ministry of Telecommunications in Hadramout province. American newspaper.
According to Save the Children, at least three children have died in the attack on the plant while playing nearby. “Apparently the children were playing on a nearby soccer field when the missiles landed,” the NGO said in a statement.
The country has been offline since 1 a.m. and, according to NetBlocks, an NGO that monitors cybersecurity, the service has not yet been resumed.
a week of hostility
Hostilities in Yemen began to intensify this week after the Houthis attacked a major airport in the United Arab Emirates – Saudi Arabia’s main partner in the coalition – on Monday with drones and missiles, killing three people and wounding six, in retaliation. for UAE support for pro-government militias. Armed and trained by the UAE, the militias had recently wrested control of Shabwa province from the Houthis, as well as seized their profits in oil-rich Marib province.
The coalition responded by attacking Sanaa, the Houthi-controlled capital of Yemen, on Monday night. The Houthi press said 20 people had been killed, including the family of a general. This Friday, Mahat said that the latest attacks have also affected Sana’a and its airport, apart from Saada and Al Hudaydah, and that MSF has received numerous reports of night airstrikes in other places in northern Yemen.
Saada province is located in the far north-west of Yemen and is one of the main strongholds of the Shiite rebels. Its infrastructure has been badly damaged in the past almost seven years of conflict in which supplies have been scarce in the Houthi-controlled territories.
The Arab coalition that has intervened in Yemen since March 2015, in addition to the bombing campaigns, imposes a blockade against the country, controlling the goods that enter by sea, land and air, alleging that the Houthis receive weapons from their ally, Iran. .