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At Least 39 Yemenis Dead in Saudi-Led Raid on Police Camp

At Least 39 Yemenis Dead in Saudi-Led Raid on Police CampAt Least 39 Yemenis Dead in Saudi-Led Raid on Police Camp

US-backed Saudi-led coalition aircraft struck a military police camp in the Houthi-controlled Yemeni capital Sanaa on Wednesday, killing at least 39 people and wounding 90 more, including some prisoners, an official and witnesses said.

The strike is part of an air campaign by the coalition on Houthis that has escalated since killing of former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, Reuters reported.

One official in the camp said the coalition aircraft had launched seven raids on the camp, located in the eastern part of Sanaa, where some 180 prisoners were being held.

The official said rescue teams had pulled out 35 bodies from the rubble, while the rest were not accounted for.

It was the latest in a string of air raids the coalition has conducted on Sanaa and other parts of the country, sometimes causing multiple casualties among civilians.

A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition could not immediately be reached for comment on the report. The coalition denies that it targets civilians.

In October, the Saudi-led coalition, bombing Yemen since March 2015, imposed a total blockade on the impoverished country after a rebel missile was shot down near Saudi capital Riyadh.

The United States and Britain provide political backing as well as weapons and logistical support for the Saudi-led coalition, which has been fighting since 2015 to restore fugitive president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, to power.

 Diphtheria Outbreak

Meanwhile, the aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has warned the ongoing war and blockade are creating a new threat to public health in Yemen; a suspected diphtheria outbreak.

Close to 318 suspected cases of diphtheria and 28 deaths had been reported in 15 of Yemen’s 20 governorates by December 4, doctorswithoutborders.org reported.

Half of the suspected cases are children between the ages of 5 and 14, and nearly 95% of the deaths are children under 15. Most Yemen’s suspected diphtheria cases are in Ibb governorate.

Diphtheria is a contagious and potentially fatal bacterial infection characterized by a thick grey membrane at the back of the throat or nose, a sore throat and fever. It can be prevented through vaccination, but it can be challenging to treat in part because it is often unfamiliar to health workers.

According to the World Health Organization, Cholera epidemic in Yemen has become the largest and fastest-spreading outbreak of the disease in modern history, with a million cases expected by the end of the year and at least 600,000 children likely to be affected.

 

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