On Wednesday, a stampede at a charity event in Yemen’s capital Sana’a killed at least 85 and left over 300 critically injured [with numbers in flux].1
Videos shared on social media showed bodies piled up on the streets, bloodstains, shoes, and victims’ clothing scattered on the ground, and people screaming for help as emergency services tried to rescue survivors.2
Eyewitnesses claim armed Houthis fired into the air to control the swelling crowd; however, the bullet struck an electrical wire and caused an explosion, sparking panic that sent the people — including women and children — running for their lives.3
The crowd had reportedly gathered at a school to receive financial aid or Zakat al-Fitr of 5K Yemeni riyals ($9) in the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.4
The Houthis announced they would give 1M Yemeni Riyal ($4K) to each family of the deceased and 200K Yemeni Riyal ($800) to each injured person.5
The civil war that began in 2014 — and became one of the world's worst humanitarian tragedies — has forced more than two-thirds of the country's population, or over 21M people, to need help and protection.1
Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Atalayar.The chaotic stampede — sadly coming just days before the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr — could have been avoided if the organizers had coordinated with local authorities about their plan to distribute aid to hundreds of people ahead of time. This latest tragedy simply highlights the suffering of the Yemeni people being exacerbated by US-Saudi aggression.
Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Washington Post.It was ultimately Houthi gunfire that sparked the chaos, and only they can be blamed for this latest tragedy compounding Yemen's already extraordinary humanitarian crisis. This accident must, however, be viewed in its full geopolitical context, and shows why conflict resolution continues to be so challenging in this intractable conflict.