Deadly fire ravages migrant settlement in Yemen: UN | Yemen News

At least eight people were killed and 170 injured in a fire at a migrant detention center in the capital Sana’a, according to IOM.

At least eight people, including guards, have died and more than 170 have been injured after a fire ravaged an immigration detention center in the Yemeni capital Sana’a, the United Nations migration agency said. .

The total death toll from Sunday’s blaze, the cause of which remains uncertain, could be higher, said Carmela Godeau, International Organization for Migration (IOM) regional director for the Middle East and Africa of the North, in a message on Twitter.

IOM was providing emergency care to the injured, more than 90 of whom were in serious condition, and distributing food to those affected, Godeau added.

The Associated Press news agency reported that the migrant detention center, which is expected to hold around 700 people, is run by Houthi rebels – who control large swathes of Yemen, including Sana’a, since they overthrew the government. internationally recognized government at the end of 2014.

The Houthis said civil defense teams were successful in extinguishing the blaze and investigations were underway to determine the cause.

A UN official said the fire started in a hangar near the main building of the detention center.

Most of those detained were arrested in the northern province of Saada as they attempted to enter Saudi Arabia, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to brief them. media.

“This is just one of the many dangers migrants have faced in the past six years of the crisis in Yemen,” said IOM’s Mr. Godeau.

Thousands of refugees and migrants are believed to be stranded in Yemen, which has been ravaged by six devastating years of war.

The narrow waters between the Horn of Africa and Yemen have been a popular migration route despite the ongoing conflict.

Tens of thousands of migrants, desperate to find jobs as housekeepers, servants and construction workers, try to make their way through Yemen every year to the oil-rich Gulf countries.

Some 138,000 migrants made the trip from the Horn of Africa to Yemen in 2019, a number that fell to 37,000 last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. More than 2,500 migrants arrived in Yemen from Djibouti in January this year, according to IOM.

The UN has called Yemen the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with 80% of the population dependent on aid.

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