In the Yemeni capital Sanaa, at least 85 people have died because they were trampled while handing out small amounts of money. At least 300 people have been injured, 13 of them in critical condition, according to local authorities.
Hundreds of people had gathered in a school building in the old center of the city to receive money and food from wealthy businessmen in the context of Ramadan. The people got 10 dollars each. It is obligatory for Muslims to donate money to the needy, a zakat, one of the pillars of Islam.
Eyewitnesses tell AP news agency that Houthi rebels, who control the city, fired into the air to control the crowd. An electricity cable was accidentally hit and an explosion occurred. Then people would have panicked.
Three people have now been arrested. The rebels have promised relatives of the deceased victims about 1800 euros in compensation.
The authorities would not have been aware of the action. Two organizers have been detained in connection with the disaster. The Interior Ministry of the Houthis has also launched an investigation. They have held power in northern Yemen and the capital Sanaa since 2014.
The country, which has been torn apart by civil war for years, is facing a huge humanitarian crisis. Millions of people hardly have anything to eat.
Please note, the images below are shocking: