Shelling by Houthi rebels hit a women’s prison in the country’s southwestern province of Taiz, killing at least five prisoners, Yemeni officials have said.
The attack on Sunday also wounded two dozen prisoners, including four children staying with their jailed mothers, at the central prison in the government-held province, the officials said.
Abdel Baset al-Bahar, deputy spokesman for Yemen’s national army in Taiz, said the “Houthis targeted the central prison in Taiz with heavy artillery”.
“This [attack] is criminal and dangerous,” he said on his social media account.
Yemen’s Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed said in a statement the attack on the prison was “evidence of the Houthis’ aggression and massacres”.
Mohamad al-Bukhaiti, a member of the Houthi’s political bureau, told Al Jazeera by phone from Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, that he “has no information about the attack at this point” and declined to comment.
The prison attack prompted Yemen President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to order the release of all prisoners held on minor charges during a phone call with Nabil Shamsan, the provincial governor, according to a statement issued by Shamsan’s office.