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國際英語新聞:Houthis say tear gas bombs thrown by riot forces caused fire at migrant detention, killed 45

Source: Xinhuanet    2021-03-21  我要投稿   論壇   Favorite  

SANAA, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Yemen's Houthi rebels said Saturday three tear gas bombs fired by their riot forces are the cause of the deadly fire that broke out earlier this month inside a migrant detention center in the capital Sanaa and killed at least 45 African migrants.

There were a total of 862 African migrants in the seven-ward migrant detention center, and the accident took place on March 7 in Ward No. 1, which hosted 358 of the detained African migrants, according to the Houthi-controlled interior ministry's statement aired by the group's al-Masirah TV.

The ministry said riot forces were called in to quash a riot after a hunger strike of the detained African migrants spiraled out of control.

"The riot forces then fired three tear gas bombs. One of them fell in a mattress that caused the fire and killed 45 African migrants," the Houthi-controlled authorities said, adding that they have arrested 11 soldiers of the riot forces for causing the accident.

Last week, the Houthi authorities said they buried in a mass grave in Sanaa a total of 43 dead detained migrants who were killed in the fire.

The International Organization of Migrants (IOM) in a statement has urged the Houthi authorities to allow its staff in Sanaa to access the center and the hospitals to provide health assistance to the fire victims.

The Yemeni government has accused the Houthi rebels of committing "a genocide against the African migrants in the seized Sanaa," calling for an international probe into the fatal fire in the detention center, according to a statement carried by the official Saba news agency.

According to the IOM, Yemen remains a transit country for tens of thousands of migrants traveling between the Horn of Africa and Saudi Arabia despite years of war.

The organization estimated that the number of migrants arriving in Yemen fell from more than 138,000 in 2019 to just more than 37,500 in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yemen has been mired in civil war since late 2014 when Houthi rebels seized control of several northern provinces and forced the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi out of Sanaa.

The Saudi-led coalition intervened in the Yemeni conflict in March 2015 to support Hadi's government.


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