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Air Strikes on Prison Kill at Least 100 People in Yemen

SANAA, Yemen – The Saudi coalition in Yemen has launched several air raids in a detention center operated by Houthi rebels in the southwestern province of Dhamar, killing at least 100 people and injuring dozens of others, AP reported quoting the ministry of health.
Franz Rauchenstein, head of the Red Cross delegation in Yemen, suggested the toll would be even heavier after visiting the site of the attack, saying relatively few detainees had survived. According to a statement by the Red Cross, the detention center reportedly detained around 170 detainees. It was reported that 40 of them were being treated and others were presumed dead.
“To see this tremendous damage, to see the bodies lying among the rubble, was a real shock. Anger and sadness were natural reactions,” said Rauchenstein.
The attack was the deadliest so far this year by the coalition, according to the Yemen Data Project, a database on the war.
The coalition has faced international criticism for air strikes that hit schools, hospitals and marriages, killing thousands of Yemeni civilians.
The attack comes as partners in the Saudi-led coalition, mainly the United Arab Emirates and a range of Yemeni militias, are increasingly opposed to the goals of the war. In southern Yemen, there have been fierce fighting between Saudi-backed and Emirati-backed forces in recent weeks.
Yemeni officials said Sunday’s strikes targeted a college in the city of Dhamar, which Houthi rebels used as a detention center. The coalition denied hitting a detention center, saying it had targeted a military site used by the rebels to restore drones and missiles.
“We were sleeping and around midnight there may have been three, four or six strikes. They were targeting the prison, I really do not know the number of strikes,” said the injured detainee Nazem Saleh while he was on a stretcher in a local hospital.
He added that the Red Cross had visited the center twice before the air strike.
A row of more than a dozen white funeral bags were placed in the rubble beside flattened buildings and crushed cars, while rescuers dug into the debris.
“We have now seen under the rubble that there are still many, many corpses that are very difficult to extract,” Rauchenstein said.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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