Yemen football win sees several dead after celebratory gunfire

Yemen football win sees several dead after celebratory gunfire
Celebrations in Yemen after a football win quickly turned deadly with stray bullets killing and wounding dozens
1 min read
14 December, 2021
Celebratory gunfire in Yemen on Monday night turned celebrations into a bloodbath [Getty-file photo]

Celebratory gunfire in Yemen left at least five people dead, including a young girl, and over a hundred wounded Monday night after the country's U-15s won a football championship.

Yemen's boys' team beat rivals Saudi Arabia in the West Asia junior tournament, seeing thousands take to the streets in a rare show of unity following years of conflict which has pitted Houthi rebels against Riyadh-backed government forces.

But stray bullets left five dead and wounded at least 124 others in the capital Sanaa - controlled by the Houthis - according to the rebel-run health ministry.

The ministry added that the injured were hospitalised, without giving further details.

Among the dead was a four-year-old girl, according to a doctor who spoke to AFP.

The gunfire was heard for hours, as people of all ages and families cruised the streets and set off fireworks in different regions.

A Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen in early 2015 to shore up the government after Iran-backed Houthi fighters seized the capital months before.

The UN has said that the seven-year-old conflict will have claimed 377,000 lives by the end of the year, through both direct and indirect impacts, while millions have been displaced and are left without food.