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Yemen: 85 people killed in stampede at school in Sanaa during charity event for Ramadan

Yemen stampede: The incident happened at the Old City in the centre of Sanaa when hundreds of poor people gathered at an event organised by merchants.

Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 Sanaa (Yemen) Updated on: April 20, 2023 9:22 IST
Hundreds of people got injured during the stampede
Image Source : AP Hundreds of people got injured during the stampede

Yemen stampede: At least 85 people were killed and dozens more suffered injuries in a stampede that took place during an event to distribute financial aid in Yemen's capital late Wednesday. 

The incident took place in the Old City in the centre of Sanaa when hundreds of poor people gathered at an event organised by merchants, according to the Houthi-run Interior Ministry.

The ministry's spokesman, Brig Abdel-Khaleq al-Aghri said the mismanagement by the organizers of the event caused the stampede. He blamed the disaster on the “random distribution” of funds without coordination with local authorities.

Dozens of casualties were taken to nearby hospitals. Motaher al-Marouni, a senior health official in Sanaa, gave the death tally and said at least 13 were seriously injured, according the Houthi's Al-Masirah satellite TV channel.

The rebels quickly sealed off the school where the event was organised and barred people, including journalists, from approaching.

What triggered stampede

Eyewitnesses, Abdel-Rahman Ahmed and Yahia Mohsen, said armed Houthis shot in the air in an attempt to control the crowd, apparently striking an electrical wire and causing it to explode. That sparked panic and people began stampeding, they said.

The Houthi-run Interior Ministry said it had detained two organisers and an investigation was underway. Yemen's capital is controlled by the Iranian-backed Houthis since they descended from their northern stronghold in 2014 and removed the internationally recognised government.

The Houthi move prompted a Saudi-led coalition to intervene in 2015 to try to restore the internationally recognised government.

The conflict has turned in recent years into a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The war has killed more than 150,000 people, including fighters and civilians, and created one of the world's worst humanitarian disasters.

(With AP input)

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