Houthis ‘expelling Sanaa hospital patients to treat leaders and fighters’

Pro-government fighters stand on the barrel of a tank in an area where they fought against Houthi militants in the southwestern city of Taiz, Yemen. (Reuters)
Updated 17 August 2017
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Houthis ‘expelling Sanaa hospital patients to treat leaders and fighters’

JEDDAH: Houthi militants are expelling civilian patients from hospitals in Sanaa and other provinces, sources told Arab News.
The sick are being removed from their beds to make way for leaders of the so-called Houthi “popular committees” and their families, as well as injured militants coming back from the battlefield.
Sources in Yemen said Houthi militants used weapons to expel patients from all departments of the largest Yemeni armed forces hospitals in Sanaa and Dhamar. They also threatened to kill doctors and nurses if they tried to protest or prevent them from expelling the patients.
Sources also said that Houthi militias are stealing medicines destined for patients in order to sell them to pharmacies.
Local sources in Al-Bayda province said that forces loyal to deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh had robbed a medical center and forbade staff from offering the most basic services to patients and those in need.
Armed militants in Hajjah prevented local medical centers from receiving cholera patients, the sources said.
Leaders of the “popular committees” are doing this to pressure people in these areas to send their sons to the battlefield, it was claimed.
Meanwhile, an International Red Cross delegation to Marib province heard testimonies regarding human rights violations against civilians that were committed by Houthi militias and forces loyal to Saleh, Sabaa news agency reported Wednesday.
Testimonies were heard from the mothers and wives of detainees in Houthi prisons.
Houthi militias kidnapped their relatives from roads, markets and houses, and some died due to torture in prisons and detention centers, witnesses said.
The militias raided houses without any legal justification, and arrested men, children and women, according to the testimonies.
The militias terrified families, imposed compulsory taxes, conscripted children, blew up buildings and looted homes and stores, witnesses said.
Separately, Reuters reported that the central bank of Yemen floated the national currency, instructing banks to follow the market rate in a move aimed at shoring up a financial system battered by war.
A circular said the Aden bank had ditched the official rate of 250 riyals to the dollar in favor of “the exchange rate prevalent in the market... in accordance with the exchange rate lists issued by the central bank.”


Turkey train crash leaves 9 dead, dozens injured

Updated 56 min 35 sec ago
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Turkey train crash leaves 9 dead, dozens injured

  • The high-speed train usually passes through that station without stopping
  • Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said 84 other people had sought medical help after the crash

ANKARA, TURKEY: A high-speed train hit a railway engine and crashed into a pedestrian overpass Thursday at a station in the Turkish capital of Ankara, killing nine people and injuring dozens, officials said.
The 6:30 a.m. train from Ankara to the central Turkish city of Konya collided head-on with the engine, which was checking the tracks at the capital’s small Marsandiz station, Transport Minister Mehmet Cahit Turhan told reporters after inspecting the site. The high-speed train, which the Anadolu Agency said was carrying 206 passengers, usually passes through that station without stopping.
At least two cars derailed, hitting the station’s overpass, which then collapsed onto the train. Three engine drivers and six passengers were killed in the crash, Turhan said. One passenger died after being hospitalized while the others were killed at the scene.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said 84 other people had sought medical help after the crash.
Television footage showed emergency services working to rescue passengers from wrangled cars and debris. Hurriyet newspaper said sniffer dogs assisted efforts to find survivors. Turhan said later no one else was believed to be trapped.
It wasn’t immediately clear if a signaling problem caused the crash. Authorities detained three state railway employees over suspected negligence and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed a thorough investigation.
Passenger Ayse Ozyurt told the IHA news agency that the accident occurred 12 minutes after the train left the main station and that it had not yet gained its maximum speed.
“The train was not fast at that time yet,” she said. “Suddenly, there was a frightening breakage ... and the train was off the rail.”
Konya, about 260 kilometers (160 miles) south of Ankara, is home to the tomb of the Sufi mystic and poet Jalaladdin Rumi, attracting thousands of pilgrims and tourists. The crash occurred during an annual week of remembrance for Rumi, when many travel to Konya to watch Whirling Dervishes, members of a Sufi sect, perform.
Turkey has had a raft of train crashes this year.
In July, 24 people were killed and more than 70 injured when most of a passenger train derailed in northwestern Turkey after torrential rains caused a section of the tracks to collapse. Last month, 15 people were injured when a passenger train collided with a freight train in Turkey’s central province of Sivas.