The coalition claimed responsibility for the attack, which killed at least 70 people
The Saudi-led coalition against the Yemeni Huthi group has denied involvement in an airstrike on a prison in northern Yemen on Saturday. Aid groups working in Yemen say at least 70 people, including migrants, women and children, have been killed in an attack on Friday morning.
Initial reports said more than 200 people had been injured and about 100 killed in the attack. The military said in a statement that it had no involvement in the attack, which was aimed at turning buildings into rubble. Scenes of rescuers empty-handedly collecting dead bodies and injured people after the attack were made public on social media.
The United Nations Secretary-General has condemned the attack on the Yemeni port of Hodeidah, saying “dozens of people, including three minors, have been killed in the attack.” A statement from eight different humanitarian organizations in Yemen claimed that more than 70 people had been killed in an attack on a prison in Yemen’s rebel-held area of Sada.
The site was used as a shelter for immigrants, the statement said. “These claims by Huthi fighters to discredit the coalition are untrue,” said Turki al-Maliki, a spokesman for the coalition forces, pointing to the possible involvement of Huthi rebels close to Iran. The United Nations says the world’s worst humanitarian crisis has left tens of thousands dead and millions displaced in Yemen, and the conflict has seen dramatic ups and downs this week.
After the rebels seized the capital Sanaa in 2014, the Saudi leadership, backed by the United States, France and Britain, intervened against the Yemeni Huthi leadership in March 2015. The coalition has said it will take action against Huthi in Yemen in a few weeks, but the conflict continues.
The latest violence in Yemen’s invincible, seven-year war erupted last Monday after Iranian-backed Huthis claimed responsibility for the first deadly attack on the coalition’s capital, Abu Dhabi. The Houthis claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was a drone and missile attack that killed three people. The UAE has acknowledged it was the first deadly attack within its borders and warned of retaliation.