Local Red Crescent medics carry the body of a victim following airstrikes on a prison in central Dhamar 020919 CREDIT PA
Middle East

More Than 100 Killed In Yemen Air Strikes, Red Cross Says

The Saudi-led coalition has been battling the rebels on behalf of an internationally recognised government since 2015.

Local Red Crescent medics carry the body of a victim following airstrikes on a prison in central Dhamar 020919 CREDIT PA

Local Red Crescent medics carry the body of a victim following the airstrikes (Picture: PA).

More than 100 people have been killed after airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition hit a detention centre in Yemen, the Red Cross has said. 

A Red Cross statement said the detention centre in the south-western city of Dhamar held around 170 people.

It said 40 of those were being treated for injuries and the rest were presumed dead.

Franz Rauchenstein, head of the Red Cross delegation in Yemen, suggested the death toll could be even higher after visiting the scene of the attack: "Witnessing this massive damage, seeing the bodies lying among the rubble, was a real shock. Anger and sadness were natural reactions."

The coalition has faced international criticism for airstrikes that have hit schools, hospitals and wedding parties, killing thousands of Yemeni civilians.

Saudi Arabia intervened on behalf of the internationally recognised Yemeni government in March 2015, after the Iran-backed Houthis took the capital.

The conflict has claimed tens of thousands of lives, thrust millions to the brink of famine and has been labelled the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

The attack comes as the Saudi-led coalition's partners are increasingly at odds over the war's aims.

A damaged house in Sanna, Yemen (Picture: PA).
The conflict in Yemen has claimed tens of thousands of lives, with the UN describing it as the world's worst humanitarian crisis (Picture: PA).

The past weeks have seen heavy fighting in the south of Yemen between Saudi-backed and Emirati-backed forces.

Yemeni officials said Sunday's strikes targeted a college being used as a detention centre.

The coalition denied it had struck a detention centre, saying it had targeted a military site used by the rebels to restore drones and missiles.

"We were sleeping and around midnight, there were maybe three, or four, or six strikes," said wounded detainee Nazem Saleh.

"They were targeting the jail, I really don't know the strike numbers."

The UN human rights office for Yemen said 52 detainees were among the dead and at least 68 detainees were still missing.

The Red Cross, which inspects detention centres as part of its global mission, said it had visited detainees at the site in the past.

Former detainees said the Houthis had previously used the site to store and repair weapons.

Youssef al-Hadhri, a spokesman for the Houthi-run Health Ministry, said at least seven airstrikes hit three buildings in the complex overnight.