A handout photo made available by the Houthi Media Center shows the aftermath of a deadly stampede in Sana'a, Yemen, 19 April 2023. EFE/EPA/HOUTHI MEDIA CENTER HANDOUT BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE

At least 78 dead, dozens injured in stampede in Yemen

Sanaa, Apr 20 (EFE).- At least 78 people died and dozens were injured in a stampede at an aid distribution center in the Old City of the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, controlled by the Shiite Houthi rebels, Houthi media reported Thursday.

Among the injured, 13 are in critical condition and undergoing medical treatment, Al-Masirah TV channel reported, citing the director of the health office in Sanaa, Mutahar al-Marouni.

Interior Ministry spokesperson Gen. Abdul Khaliq Al-Ajri said the crush, which took place on Wednesday evening, was caused by the random distribution of money by some merchants without coordination with the ministry, Houthi news agency Saba reported.

A man passes a police vehicle parked at the gate of a hospital in which several people injured in a deadly stampede are receiving treatment, in Sana’a, Yemen, 20 April 2023. EFE/EPA/YAHYA ARHAB

Two of the merchants responsible for the aid distribution have been arrested while the prosecutor’s office has launched a probe into what happened, the spokesperson added.

A video broadcast by Al-Masirah shows a crowd caught between people trying to get out into one of the streets of the Old City.

The deputy head of the Al-Thawra Hospital told the channel that they had received 78 bodies in their center alone, so it is estimated that the number of deaths is higher given that more bodies have reached other hospitals in the capital.

Sanaa has been controlled by the Iranian-backed Houthi insurgents since 2014, when a conflict began that forced the internationally recognized Yemeni government into exile in Aden, in the south of the country.

The war in Yemen, in which a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia intervened in 2015, has triggered one of the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. EFE