SAADA, Yemen – An air strike hit a temporary detention centre in Yemen’s Saada province on Friday killing several people including African migrants, a Reuters witness said, as the Saudi-led coalition stepped up operations on areas held by the Houthi movement.
Rescue workers were still pulling bodies out of the rubble around midday following the dawn strike, but it was not immediately clear how many people had been killed.
Houthi-run Al Masirah television channel said tens of people had been killed and injured in the strike in north Yemen. It showed footage of men trying to clear rubble using their hands to reach those trapped and of wounded at al-Jamhuri hospital.
Despite Yemen’s war, migrants from the Horn of Africa still go there en route to Saudi Arabia or wealthy Gulf states.
The military alliance led by Saudi Arabia has intensified air strikes https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/yemens-houthis-say-12-dead-saudi-led-coalition-strike-al-masirah-tv-reports-2022-01-17 on what it says are Houthi military targets after the Iran-aligned movement conducted an unprecedented assault on coalition member the United Arab Emirates https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/uae-says-missiles-drones-used-attack-some-intercepted-2022-01-20 on Monday and further cross-border missile and drones launches at Saudi cities.
Yemen was experiencing a nationwide Internet outage on Friday with the exception of the southern city of Aden. Houthi media blamed it on a coalition strike on a telecommunications facility in the western province of Hodeidah. Reuters could not immediately confirm the cause of the outage.
The Saudi-led alliance on Thursday reported operations against “Houthi military capabilities” in Hodeidah, ballistic missile launch platforms in Bayda province in central Yemen and military targets in Yemen’s Houthi-held capital Sanaa.
The conflict, in which the coalition intervened in March 2015 after the Houthis ousted the internationally recognised government from Sanaa, has killed tens of thousands of people, displaced millions and pushed Yemen to the verge of famine.
United Nations envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, on Friday voiced grave concern over the military escalation and called on both sides to “exercise maximum restraint”.