During a charity distribution in Yemen’s capital Sana’a, a stampede occurred resulting in over 85 fatalities and over 100 injuries. The Houthi-led administration stated that a “random distribution” of money was underway in the Bab al-Yemen area when the stampede occurred.
Social media videos depicted bodies on the ground within a large complex, although the authenticity of these videos cannot be independently verified by WION. The distribution was reportedly organized by local businessmen at a school and included Ramadan food and alms. Two health officials confirmed the death toll, with around 109 people injured thus far. An anonymous health official reported that women and children were among the casualties.
The area was heavily secured by security forces as people rushed to the site of the stampede in search of their relatives. The interior ministry stated that those responsible for the distribution were taken into custody and the deceased and injured have been transferred to nearby hospitals, according to Saba news agency.
An investigation has been initiated by the authorities. Yemen has been experiencing the repercussions of a civil war, which began in 2014 when Iran-backed Houthi rebels took over the capital, Sana’a. The conflict resulted in a Saudi Arabia-led coalition entering Yemen and supporting an internationally recognized government.
Fighting has subsided since a six-month truce was established in April of the previous year and has not resumed since it expired in October. According to the United Nations, over two-thirds of the population, including government employees in Houthi-controlled regions who haven’t received civil servant salaries in years, live below the poverty line. This year, more than 21.7 million people, equivalent to two-thirds of the country’s population, require humanitarian assistance, as per the UN.