Sunday, 22 May, 2022
E-paper

Saudi-led airstrike on prison killed 70: Yemeni rebels

A Saudi-led coalition airstrike hit a prison run by Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Friday, killing at least 70 detainees and wounding dozens, a rebel minister said. The strike was part of a pounding aerial offensive that hours earlier knocked the Arab world’s poorest country off the internet.

The intense campaign comes after the Iran-backed Houthis claimed a drone and missile attack that struck inside the United Arab Emirates’ capital earlier in the week — a major escalation in the conflict in Yemen where the Saudi-led coalition, backed by the UAE, has battled the rebels since 2015.

Taha al-Motawakel, health minister in the Houthi government which controls northern Yemen, told The Associated Press that 70 detainees were killed at the prison and that he expects the number to rise as many others were seriously wounded.

The Saudi-led coalition acknowledged carrying out “accurate airstrikes to destroy the capabilities of the militia” around Hodeida’s port. It didn’t immediately confirm striking a telecommunications target, but instead called Hodeida a hub for piracy and Iranian arms smuggling to back the Houthis.