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‘Another crime’ say survivors of coalition strikes on Yemeni detention centre -Breaking

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© Reuters. A number of people were hurt in an air strike on a Yemeni detention centre. They are currently confined to hospital beds in Saada on January 22, 2022. REUTERS/Naif Rahma

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SAADA, Yemen (Reuters). Yemeni prisoner Mohammed Ali Salem had a lucky escape when a missile launched by warplanes from the Saudi-led coalition in the next ward created a powerful wave that blew through his cell.

This was the only way he managed to flee before another bomb fell.

“When they hit Ward 8, the door opened, and we walked away…the pressure caused the door to open. We walked out. God granted us safety, thank God,” he said, recounting the strikes that targeted the detention centre where he was held on Friday at dawn.

Others were also wrapped in white bodies bags but weren’t as lucky. A missile struck a Saada Detention Centre in Yemeni Province, killing at least 60 people. This is the Houthi stronghold that’s been fighting a Saudi-led coalition of forces since 2015.

A witness to Reuters said that several African migrants died in the raid.

Save the Children stated in a statement, that air strikes had also claimed the deaths of three children in Hodeidah on Friday.

Following missile and drone strikes against the United Arab Emirates earlier in this week, these strikes caused an international uproar, and brought to light a long-forgotten and fatal conflict.

On Saturday, the Saudi-led coalition said that it was not targeting the detention center. They claimed the facility wasn’t on any no-targeting list agreed to with United Nations. It also stated that the facility did not comply with standards set forth by the Third Geneva Convention for Prisoners of War.

These strikes were the most deadly in over two years. They occurred amid the unprecedented escalation of the conflict that has raged for seven years. There have been clashes over control of oil-rich Yemeni regions Shabwa, Marib and an increase in cross-border violence.

After dozens upon dozens similar strikes on Saudi Arabian towns with drones or ballistic missiles, Abu Dhabi was struck.

Saada saw hundreds gather around lined up body bags Saturday in search of information. They were located near concrete rubble at the detention centre. Others were looking at the bodies in hopes of identifying their loved ones.

“We visited Amran to discover that the prison was hit by bombers,” said Salman Badi, one of their relatives. Salman Badi of Amran province said, “This is another crime that they have to add to their other criminalities.”

Sultan al-Qahim was one of those who sustained burns to his face and lost consciousness when a third bomb fell.

I was setting up with my friends in the ward, and then the warplane arrived and struck with a first strike. Two more strikes followed a short time later. After that, nothing,” he said in the Republican hospital in Saada, where most of the wounded have been treated.

This story has been refiled in order to change the headline

(Reporting Reuters Television, written by Aziz El Yaakoubi

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