Survivors of the detention center’s airstrikes condemned the attack as another crime.
Yemeni detainee Mohammed Ali Salem was lucky that a rocket fired by fighter jets from the Saudi-led coalition in the neighboring unit caused a wave strong enough to break down his cell door.
So he managed to escape before a second bomb fell.
“When they hit compartment 8 … the door opened from the pressure and we went out. “God has given us safety,” thank God, “he said of the dawn attacks, which were aimed at the arrest where he was detained on Friday.
Others, wrapped in white corpse bags, were unlucky. At least 80 people were killed when rockets hit a detention center in Yemen’s Saada province, the stronghold of the Houthi group, which has been at war with the Saudi-led coalition since 2015.
Save the Children said in a statement that three children were also killed in airstrikes on Friday in the western city of Hodeidah.
The attacks that followed the missile and drone attacks on the United Arab Emirates on January 17th caused an international uproar and brought attention back to a forgotten and deadly conflict.
The Saudi-led coalition denied targeting the detention center on Saturday, adding that it was not on UN-designated non-target lists and did not meet the standards set by the Third Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War, according to the state news agency.
The attacks, the deadliest in more than two years, came amid an unprecedented escalation in a seven-year conflict involving clashes raging over oil-rich regions in Yemen’s Shabwa and Marib, and a rise in cross-border attacks.
The missile attacks on Abu Dhabi followed dozens of similar attacks on cities in Saudi Arabia with armed drones and ballistic missiles.
In Saada, hundreds of people gathered around stacked bags of corpses on Saturday near the concrete rubble of the detention center, searching for information about their relatives. Some checked the bodies, hoping to identify their loved ones.
“We came from Amran province to find out that the prison had been hit by fighter jets. This is another crime that needs to be added to their other crimes, “said Salman Buddy, a relative.
Sultan al-Qahim, whose face was burned in the attack, said he lost consciousness after a third bomb fell.
“I was sitting with my friends in our department and then the fighter plane came and hit with the first blow. And a little later they hit two more. Then nothing, “he said at the Republican Hospital in Saada, where most of the wounded were treated.
The United Nations has called for “swift, effective and transparent investigations into these incidents to ensure accountability”.