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85 people killed in stampede during financial aid distribution program during Ramadan in Yemen

Pankaj Prasad
Stampede in Yemen
Stampede in Yemen

A stampede broke out late on Wednesday night at an event organized to distribute financial aid for the holy month of Ramadan in Yemen's capital Sanaa.

A stampede broke out late on Wednesday night at an event organized to distribute financial aid for the holy month of Ramadan in Yemen's capital Sanaa. According to media reports, 85 people died and dozens of others were injured in the stampede at the event. Giving information about the incident, an official of the rebel organization Huthi said that 73 people were injured in this incident, who have been admitted to the hospital.

This tragedy happened just before Eid-ul-Fitr. According to the Houthi-run Yemen's Interior Ministry, hundreds of poor people gathered at the event at the time of the incident. The Houthis have announced compensation of $2,000 to the families of the dead and about $400 to the injured.

Interior Ministry spokesman Brigadier Abdel-Khaliq al-Aghari said the incident occurred due to improperly distributing financial aid without coordination with local authorities. According to media reports, the aid distribution program was organized in a school. The rebels sealed the school after the incident. Also, people including journalists have been barred from coming here.

Eyewitnesses said that armed Houthi rebels fired in the air to control the crowd and it exploded after hitting a power line. This spread panic among the people present in the program and people started running away. The Interior Ministry said it has detained two organizers and the matter is under investigation.

Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized control of Yemen's capital Sanaa in 2014 and ousted the internationally recognized government.