About 85 people were trampled to death during a stampede in the Yemeni capital city of Sanaa when a crowd was spooked by gunfire during an event marking the end of the religious month of Ramadan.
Hundreds of poor people were gathered at a school to receive distributions of financial aid when gunshots were heard and panic ensued.
Graphic videos on social media showed scenes from the aftermath of the disaster.
A Houthi official told AFP that more than three hundred people were also injured in the stampede.
“Women and children were among the dead,” he said.
A statement from the interior ministry of the country called the incident “tragic” and “painful.” The statement called the event preceding the disaster as a “random distribution of money by some merchants without coordination with the Ministry of Interior and without organization.”
They added that the “dead and injured were taken to hospitals and two of the merchants responsible for the matter were arrested.”
One report said that Houthis had fired their weapons into the air in an attempt to control the crowds but that some rounds struck an electrical wire, causing it to explode and panic those attending.
Houthi rebels reportedly rushed to close off the school to journalists.
Sanaa has been under the control of Iranian-backed Houthi rebels since 2014. The rebels have fought a proxy war against Saudi Arabia, which is backing the internationally recognized government.
The conflict has led to more than a 100,000 deaths and is called one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world by the United Nations.
Here’s video of the aftermath of the incident:
85 Killed, Hundreds Injured In Stampede During Yemen Charity Event: Reportwww.youtube.com
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