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Yemen: more than 100 victims in a strike against a prison held by the rebels


An airstrike was carried out against a prison in Saada, the Houthi rebel stronghold. The NGO Doctors Without Borders denounces a "horrible" act.

More than 100 people were killed or injured Friday, January 21 in an airstrike against a prison in Saada, the Houthi rebel stronghold in northern Yemen, showing a sharp escalation of violence in this country at war for seven years. .

Read alsoThe keys to understanding eight years of civil war in Yemen


There are more than 100 dead and injured, and it's growing

," said Bachir Omar, spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Yemen, citing the toll of hospitals after the attack committed overnight. , which was not immediately claimed.

A " horrible

" act

, according to the NGO Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

Also overnight, the Saudi-led coalition, which has been intervening in Yemen since 2015 to support the government, struck the port city of Hodeida (west), also in rebel hands.

No toll was immediately available for this attack, but it caused an internet blackout across the country.

Unclaimed attack

It is through Hodeidah that most of the humanitarian aid destined for the country passes, a vital stake in the war in Yemen which opposes the Houthis, supported by Shiite Iran, to the forces of the Yemeni government supported by the coalition of the Sunni Saudi Arabia. The rebels released a video showing grisly scenes billed as the aftermath of the airstrike on Saada prison, with buildings bombed, rescuers pulling bodies from rubble and mutilated corpses nearby.

From what I heard from colleagues in Saada, there are many bodies at the site of the strike, and many missing

,” said Ahmed Mahat, the head of the mission of Doctors in a press release. without borders in Yemen.

The city hospital has so far taken in some 200 injured people and said it could not take any more, he said.

The attack was not claimed but the Saudi-led military coalition regularly strikes insurgent-held territories.

“Targeted airstrikes”

The strikes come five days after rebels claimed a drone and missile attack that hit oil facilities and airports in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, killing three people and injuring six. The Emirates are members of the Saudi-led coalition. In New York, the members of the Security Council are due to meet at 3:00 p.m. GMT in an emergency session on the Houthi attacks on the Emirates, at the express request of this country, a non-permanent member of the Council since January 1.

For its part, the Saudi press agency declared that the coalition had carried out in Hodeidah "

targeted airstrikes to destroy the action capacities of the Houthi militia

", and that it was targeting a "

hub of piracy and of organized crime

”. For their part, the Houthis said people had been killed in the strikes, but their statement could not immediately be confirmed. An AFP correspondent in Hodeidah described a large-scale attack. The organization NetBlocks, which specializes in monitoring the internet around the world, reported a "

collapse of internet connections in the country

" after the bombardment. Correspondents of theAFP in Hodeidah and Sanaa confirmed the outage.

Read alsoYemen: Ryad accuses rebels and Iran of militarizing Red Sea ports

The escalation comes after Houthi rebels hijacked a United Arab Emirates-flagged vessel in the Red Sea on January 3.

The coalition then warned that it would bomb rebel-held ports.

UAE presidential adviser Anwar Gargash has warned his country will exercise its right to defend itself after the Abu Dhabi attack, in a statement to U.S. special envoy Hans Grundberg, according to the news agency. official WAM.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2022-01-21

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