Blaze rips through Sanaa residential area after black market fuel trader's home ignites

Blaze rips through Sanaa residential area after black market fuel trader's home ignites
At least six homes have been partially or severely damage after a fire ignited at a neighbouring black market fuel trader's home in a populated Sanaa residential area.
2 min read
23 June, 2020
It is unclear how many people were injured in the blaze [Twitter]
The home of a fuel dealer that sells petrol on the black market in Yemen's capital set ablaze on Monday, ripping through houses in the neighbourhood.

The huge fire was sparked after tank of fuel on the ground floor of Naji al-Hakim's house exploded, an alleged Houthi official who trades oil in Yemen's growing black market, Almasdar Online reported.

Ambulances quickly rushed to the scene in the Al-Sunainah neighbourhood, though the fire itself was dealt with by local volunteers in the absence of the civil defence, which later arrived.

Witnesses confirmed a number of houses were damaged by the blaze, the local online platform reported. It is unclear how many were injured in the fire.

Sanaa’s Houthi authorities said 8 homes had been affected by the fire, though no casualties were reported. 

Yemen's black market for trading fuel has expanded across much of the country in recent years, with the Houthi rebels most recently being accused of "suffocating" the fuel crisis to take advantage of the illegal trade. A Saudi-led coalition blockade of the country has also exacerbated the situation.

The crisis has forced millions of civilians in mainly Houthi-controlled areas to stand in long queues for multiple hours just to get 30 litres of fuel every five days.

The Houthi rebels captured control of the capital Sanaa in September 2014 and forced the government out of the city and country.

The move prompted the Saudi-led coalition to militarily intervene in Yemen to reinstate the government and fight the rebels - though the conflict has remained at a stalemate more than five years on.

Read also: 'Saudi intervention failed', senior aide to Yemeni president says in 'unprecedented' public remarks

More than 100,000 people have been killed since the coalition intervened in March 2015 and the United Nations has described the conflict as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

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