Dozens of people were killed in a crowd surge in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, on Wednesday night, the Houthi-run Interior Ministry said in a statement.
“What happened tonight is a tragic and painful accident, as dozens of people were killed due to a large stampede of a number of citizens caused by a random distribution of sums of money by some merchants and without coordination with the Ministry of Interior,” the spokesman of the Houthi-run Ministry of Interior, Abdul-Khaleq al-Ajri, said in the statement.
The director of the Houthi-run Health office in Sanaa, Mutahar al-Marouni, told the Houthi-run Al-Masirah news agency that at least 78 people were killed, and dozens were injured.
The Capital Municipality police and the concerned units rushed to the scene, according to the statement.
“The dead and injured people were transferred to hospitals, and two merchants in charge of the matter were arrested,” the statement added.
The incident came just a few days ahead of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. During this time of the month, people give alms known as Zakat al-Fitr to the needy.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.