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Business News/ News / World/  Killed for 750: Stampede kills, injures dozens in Yemen as hundreds gather to receive Ramadan aid
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Killed for ₹750: Stampede kills, injures dozens in Yemen as hundreds gather to receive Ramadan aid

For the past eight years, Yemen has been engulfed in a violent civil war that has been widely regarded as a proxy conflict between the regional powers of Saudi Arabia and Iran.

This image from a video, shows the aftermath of a deadly stampede in Sanaa, Yemen Wednesday, April 19, 2023. A crowd apparently spooked by gunfire and an electrical explosion stampeded at an event to distribute financial aid during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Yemen’s capital late Wednesday. (AL-MASIRAH TV CHANNEL via AP) (AP)Premium
This image from a video, shows the aftermath of a deadly stampede in Sanaa, Yemen Wednesday, April 19, 2023. A crowd apparently spooked by gunfire and an electrical explosion stampeded at an event to distribute financial aid during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Yemen’s capital late Wednesday. (AL-MASIRAH TV CHANNEL via AP) (AP)

Tragedy struck the Yemeni capital of Sanaa on April 20, as at least 78 people were killed in a stampede during the distribution of charitable donations. The event was held in a school, where hundreds of people had gathered to receive aid from merchants in the final days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. 

Witnesses reported that the donations amounted to 5,000 Yemeni riyals, or about 750, per person. The stampede also left several people injured, with 13 in critical condition.

Also Read: 11 killed in stampede for food aid in Pakistan's Karachi

The Al Masirah TV news outlet, which is run by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement, reported that the director of health in Sanaa confirmed the injuries. The Houthi-controlled Ministry of Interior's spokesperson also confirmed that the event was organised by two merchants and said an investigation was underway. The merchants have been detained.

Yemen has been embroiled in a brutal eight-year civil war that has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed millions into hunger. The conflict began in 2014 when the Houthis ousted the government from the capital, Sanaa. A Saudi-led coalition intervened in 2015, and the conflict has been widely viewed as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Also Read: Four women killed after stampede in Tamil Nadu, CM announces relief

The Houthi movement's head, Mohamed Ali al-Houthi, took to Twitter to blame the tragedy on the "aggression and blockade" of the Yemeni people. He said the stampede was a result of the "worst global humanitarian crisis" after eight years of fighting.

Recently, peace talks between the Houthis and Saudi Arabia have raised hopes of a resolution to the conflict. The top negotiator of the Houthi movement said the talks had made progress, and further discussions would be held to iron out remaining differences. 

In March, Riyadh and Tehran agreed to restore diplomatic ties severed in 2016, and prisoner exchanges this month have further boosted hopes of an end to the conflict.

(With agency inputs)

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Sounak Mukhopadhyay
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Published: 20 Apr 2023, 08:06 AM IST
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