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Airstrike in Yemen hits detention facility

On Sunday, September 1st 2019, an airstrike hit a detention facility in Dhamar in western Yemen, killing at least 65 and wounding more than 50, according to Yemeni health officials.

The Red Cross reports that more than 100 people are presumed killed, with 40 treated for injuries.

The detention facility, run by Houthi rebels, held around 170 detainees.

The Saudi-led coalition has said it was targeting a storage site for drones and missiles.

Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) records casualties (i.e. people killed and injured) from explosive violence around the world as reported in English-language news sources.

AOAV recorded 1,807 civilian deaths and injuries in Yemen in 2018 across, the third highest of any country in the world after Syria and Afghanistan. AOAV data found that 78% of the total casualties in Yemen in 2018 were civilians; marking an 8% rise in civilian casualties from the previous year.

The Saudi-led coalition was responsible for 85% of civilian casualties in Yemen in 2018, rising 9% from 1,414 in 2017 to 1,535 last year.

The UK has licensed at least £4.7bn worth of arms to Saudi Arabia since the start of the civil war in Yemen in March 2015. Since 2015, AOAV has recorded over 9,000 civilian casualties (deaths and injuries) from Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in Yemen.

In June 2019, the Court of Appeal demanded the government review their arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Since the judgement, the government has sought to challenge the decision and has invited Saudi Arabia to the world’s largest arms fair.

AOAV condemns the use of violence against civilians and the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. AOAV encourages all armed actors to stop using explosive weapons with wide-area affects where there is likely to be a high concentration of civilians.