TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – More than 100 people are believed to have been killed in an airstrike by Saudi warplanes on a detention center in Yemen, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Following the strikes by Saudi-led jets, the ICRC rushed to the scene in the city of Dhamar with medical teams and hundreds of body bags.
“The location that was hit has been visited by ICRC before,” said Franz Rauchenstein, the committee’s head of delegation for Yemen.
“It’s a college building that has been empty and has been used as a detention facility for a while. What is most disturbing is that (the attack was) on a prison. To hit such a building is shocking and saddening – prisoners are protected by international law,” he said, The Guardian reported.
Rauchenstein said more than 100 people were estimated to be dead and at least 40 survivors were being treated for their injuries in hospitals in the city, south of the capital, Sana’a.
ICRC teams collecting bodies were “working relentlessly to find survivors under the rubble”, he said, but cautioned that the chances of finding any were very slim.
Footage obtained by AFP showed heavy damage to the building and several bodies lying in the rubble, as bulldozers worked to clear away huge piles of debris.
The Saudi-led coalition claimed in a statement on Sunday that its aerial assaults on Dhamar had targeted a military site belonging to the Houthi Ansarullah movement.
Saudi Arabia and its allies launched the war on Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall the Riyadh-allied former regime and crush the Houthi Ansarullah movement — objectives that have failed to materialize due to Yemenis’ stiff resistance.
Since the war began, there have been tens of thousands of civilian casualties. Millions of Yemenis now subsist beneath the poverty line and hundreds of thousands of children are suffering and dying from malnutrition.
The Western-backed military aggression, coupled with a naval blockade, has also destroyed Yemen’s infrastructure and led to a massive humanitarian crisis.