Published: Mon, September 02, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Saudi-led coalition bombs Yemen prison, scores killed

Saudi-led coalition bombs Yemen prison, scores killed

Saudi-led coalition says attack targeted a site used to store drones and missiles in city of Dhamar.

Al Jazeera's Mohammed al-Attab, reporting from Dhamar, said prison guards at the scene said they reconstructed the building, which had been destroyed by previous Saudi-led attacks, and turned it into a detention centre as "it has not been used by students" following the recurring raids.

It sent medical teams and hundreds of body bags to Dhamar.

"We have seen now under the ruble that there are still many, many dead bodies that its very, very hard to extract", said Rauchenstein.

The Saudi-UAE-led coalition confirmed air raids on Dhamar, but said it had targeted a Houthi site storing drones and missiles.

The coalition faces widespread worldwide criticism for airstrikes that have killed civilians and Sunday's attack was bound to trigger reactions by human rights groups.

The Yemen UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said 52 detainees were among the dead.

The Saudi-led coalition said it had hit a military facility "in accordance with worldwide humanitarian law", and that "all precautionary measures were taken to protect civilians".

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The Saudi-led coalition, which has waged war on the Iran-backed Houthis since 2015, has faced worldwide criticism for airstrikes that have hit schools, hospitals and wedding parties, killing thousands of civilians in Yemen's civil war.

Yemen's civil war has claimed tens of thousands of lives, thrust millions to the brink of starvation and spawned the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

"The explosions were strong and shook the city", a resident said.

The Houthi health ministry spokesman, in comments carried on the group's Al Masirah TV, said 60 bodies had been pulled from the rubble at the prison and that the number could rise.

The Saudi-led coalition denied striking a rebel-run detention center, saying instead that it destroyed a Houthi facility used as storage for drones and missiles in Dhamar, "in accordance with global humanitarian law".

The Sauid-led coalition, which has waged an air campaign against the Houthis for four years now, claims it targeted a military facility "in accordance with global humanitarian law." .

The coalition said it "took all precautionary measures to protect civilians".

Martin Griffith's statement late on Sunday came as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said more than 100 people were "presumed killed" in the bombing in Dhamar city in western Yemen. The Saudi-led alliance has responded with strikes on Houthi targets.

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