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Yemen: Saudi-led strikes on Houthi rebels-controlled prisons kill 60

Nearly 60 people, including prisoners and security personnel, were feared dead after Saudi-led airstrikes battered two prisons inside a security headquarters in a western port city.

India TV News Desk, Sanaa (Yemen) [ Updated: October 30, 2016 21:54 IST ]
Image Source : REPRESENTATIONAL IMAGE Saudi-led airstrikes targeted two prisons in Hodeida city of Yemen

Nearly 60 people, including prisoners and security personnel, were feared dead after Saudi-led airstrikes battered two prisons inside a security headquarters in a western port city, security and medical officials said.

The airstrikes on Saturday bombed the al-Zaydiya security headquarters in the Red Sea port city of Hodeida. The building contained two prisons, and many prisoners along with security forces were been killed in the strikes, the officials said.

"Sixty people in total were killed and dozens were wounded," said a health official.

The city is under control of Yemen's Shiite Houthi rebels who seized the capital and much of the northern region in 2014. 

The airstrikes came hours after warplanes rained bombs on houses of civilians in the western city of Taiz, killing at least 18 people, including children, earlier in the day.

Most of the victims were anti-rebel detainees who were being held in two cells at the detention centre, a report by AFP said, quoting sources. 

More than 100 inmates were being held in both cells, the source said. 

Most of the inmates were held because of their opposition to the Iran-backed Huthi rebels, a military source close to the insurgents said.

The latest airstrikes also come at a time Yemen's president-in-exile has turned down a UN peace deal aimed at ending the country's devastating conflict, saying it "rewards" Yemen's rebels.

The proposed peace deal gives the Houthis who seized the capital Sanaa in 2014 and eventually forced President Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi out of Yemen a share in the future government. It also reduces some of the president's powers in exchange for a rebel withdrawal from major cities.

Hadi made his remarks during a visit by the UN envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Saturday.

"The Yemeni people have condemned these ideas and the so-called road map out of belief that the deal is a gateway to more suffering and war," a statement by the presidency quoted Hadi as saying.

"The ideas presented ... carry the seeds of war," he added. "It rewards the coup leaders and punishes the Yemeni people at the same time."

The statement said Hadi told Ahmed that peace will be attainable only when the rebel "coup" is reversed, based on a UN Security Council resolution that stipulates the rebels must lay down their weapons and withdraw from cities as a precondition to any peace agreement.

A presidency official said Hadi has come under heavy international pressure to accept the deal. He said that ambassadors of the United States, France, China and Russia have held meetings with Hadi and his prime minister in the past 24 hours to press him to accept the deal. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

(With AP inputs)

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