Yemen: At least 85 killed, hundreds injured in stampede
20 April, 2023 | Pragati Singh
At least "85 were killed and more than 322 were injured" in the stampede in Sana'a's Bab al-Yemen district.
According to the Houthi-run health authority, at least 85 people were killed and over 322 others were injured in a stampede that broke out during a charity distribution event in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, on Thursday. According to a Houthi security official, at least “85 were killed and more than 322 were injured” in the stampede in Sana’a’s Bab al-Yemen district. The latest tragedy to strike the poorest country in the Arabian Peninsula occurred just days before the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramzan.
Hundreds of people crammed into a school to accept the donations, which totaled 5,000 Yemeni riyals (USD 13), according to abc.net.au. The dead and injured have been transferred to nearby hospitals, and those responsible for the distribution have been arrested, according to the interior ministry, as reported by the rebel Saba news agency.
According to the Houthi-run al-Masirah TV, the group’s interior ministry claimed that the disaster was caused by a stampede during the random distribution of cash by local merchants, with no organisation or collaboration with the ministry.
According to Abdul Khaliq Al-Ajri, a spokesman for the ministry, the authorities have arrested two merchants responsible for the uncoordinated distribution of money and are investigating the incident. Social media videos circulated of bodies lying on the ground at a large complex as people crowded around them.
Many Yemenis, who have been impoverished by years of conflict, have flocked to the charity centre for basic necessities as Eid al-Fitr, one of the most important Muslim festivals, approaches. Yemen has been at war since late 2014, when the Iran-backed Houthi militia took control of several northern provinces and drove the Saudi-backed Yemeni government from the capital, Sanaa. Tens of thousands of people have been killed, 4 million have been displaced, and Yemen is on the verge of starvation.