At least 78 people were killed in a stampede in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, the official media of the Houthi movement reported early on Thursday, with several more critically injured.
Al Masirah TV, the main television news outlet run by Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi movement, said that in addition to the dead several people were injured, including 13 in a critical situation, citing the director of health in Sanaa.
The Houthi-controlled Ministry of Interior's spokesman said in a statement that the stampede took place during the distribution of charitable donations by merchants during the final days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The spokesman described the incident as "tragic."
Hundreds of people had crowded into a school to receive the donations, which amounted to 5,000 Yemeni riyals, or about $9 per person, two eyewitnesses involved in the rescue effort told Reuters.
The interior ministry also said in a separate statement that the two merchants responsible for organising the donation event had been detained and an investigation was underway. (Reporting by Hatem Maher in Cario and Mohammed Alghobari in Aden; Writing by Andrew Mills; Editing by Chris Reese, Jacqueline Wong and Christian Schmollinger)