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UN calls for inquiry over Saudi massacre in Yemen's prison

UN calls for inquiry over Saudi massacre in Yemen's prison

The UN has called for an inquiry into the Saudi regime's airstrike hits a prison in Yemen, in which 60 people were killed and 100 wounded.

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On 1 September, airstrikes hit a former community college compound on the northern outskirts of Dhamar City.

According to sources on the ground, as many as 170 prisoners were being held in a detention facility within the compound.

Initial reports from health officials indicate that at least 60 people have been killed and 50 injured.

The Yemen UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has confirmed that 52 detainees are among the dead.

At least 68 detainees are still missing. Casualties are most likely to increase as rescue efforts are still ongoing.

"Today's event is a tragedy. The human cost of this war is unbearable. We need it to stop. Yemenis deserve a peaceful future. Today's tragedy reminds us that Yemen cannot wait. I hope the Coalition will launch an inquiry into this incident. Accountability needs to prevail." said Martin Griffiths, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen.

"This is a horrific incident," said Ms. Lise Grande, Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen.

"The scale of the casualties is staggering. We send our deepest condolences to families that are today grieving for their loved ones," she added.

First responders have been struggling to reach the scene due to repeated strikes on the site. Survivors are believed to remain trapped under rubble and the search for further casualties continues.

"Humanitarian partners are rushing surgical and medical supplies, including trauma kits, to Dhamar General Hospital and Maaber Hospital. We are diverting critical medical supplies from the cholera response," said Ms. Grande. "We have no choice."

"These are very dark times for Yemen," said Ms. Grande. "There have been days of fighting and strikes in the south and hundreds of casualties," said Ms. Grande.

"It's obvious, and we say it again and again. The only way to end the killing and misery in Yemen is to end the conflict," said Mr. Griffiths.

Yemen is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Nearly 80 percent of the total population, 24.1 million people, requires some form of humanitarian assistance and protection. Ten million people are a step away from famine and starvation and 7 million people are malnourished.

The 2019 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (YHRP) requires US$4.2 billion to assist more than 20 million Yemenis including 10 million people who rely entirely on humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs every month.

The Houthi health ministry has confirmed that at least 60 bodies were pulled from the rubble at the detention center, which officials said housed 170 prisoners.

"Prisoners at Zamar prison were deliberately targeted," said Abdulmalik Al-Houthi, the leader of the Houthis, in an airstrike in which 60 people were killed and 100 wounded. "This murder against the prisoners proves that the Arab Coalition has no problem attacking all Yemenis, even those loyal to it."

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