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Saudi coalition invites Red Cross, UN to discuss fatal Yemen detention centre attack

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By Reuters

CAIRO -The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen has invited the Red Cross and a U.N. agency to discuss its deadly attack https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/death-toll-rises-91-yemen-detention-centre-strike-houthi-minister-2022-01-25 on a detention centre holding hundreds of pre-trial detainees and migrants, a site it says was not on a no-target list agreed with U.N. agencies, state media said on Monday.

Around 90 people were killed in air strikes on the centre in Yemen’s Saada province, a northern stronghold of the Iran-aligned Houthi movement, which condemned the attack.

A Reuters witness said African migrants were among those killed https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/another-crime-say-survivors-coalition-strikes-yemeni-detention-centre-2022-01-22 in the detention centre. According to the United Nations, the facility was believed to be holding 1,300 pre-trial detainees, as well as 700 migrants, when it was hit on Jan. 21 by three airstrikes in quick succession.

The state media reports said the coalition would on Tuesday host the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen “to discuss Houthi allegations regarding the Saada prison.”

The reports, citing the coalition’s spokesperson, did not say how the International Committee of the Red Cross had responded to the request.

The Saada attack came as the coalition intensified air strikes on Houthi military targets after the group extended cross-border missile and drone attacks, normally focused on Saudi Arabia, to alliance member the United Arab Emirates.

The Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen’s civil war in 2015 after the Houthis ousted the government from the capital, Sanaa. The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people and caused a dire humanitarian crisis.