Gunfire shot by celebrating football fans ‘kills 4yo girl’ in Yemen


A four-year-old girl was killed and 36 people were injured when football fans in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a rampaged through the streets to celebrate a win over Saudi Arabia, according to reports.

Footage from the city appears to show wild scenes with large mobs on the roads and loud bangs audible following the penalty shootout victory for the national under-16 side in the West Asian Football championship.

Ecstatic supporters showed their joy across rebel and government-held areas of the war-torn countries, including the capital, which is under the control of the Islamist Houthi rebels.

A hospital medic said they had killed a child with gunfire used during the incident, according to AFP via Barron’s.

“A four-year-old girl was killed and 36 people were injured,” the agency quoted the official as saying, adding that they had spoken on condition of anonymity.

A correspondent for AFP reported that shooting and celebrations went on late and including car horns being honked and fireworks being released.

The youth team secured the win that sparked the scenes in a match in the Saudi city of Dammam.

The internationally-recognized government of Yemen is supported by a Saudi-led military coalition.

Yemen Hans Grundberg, the UN Special envoy for Yemen, offered his congratulations and appeared to back the public response before learning of the tragic consequences.

“Heartwarming to see the unity, joy and celebrations across the country,” he tweeted.

Sharing photos of the celebrations, one viewer told the team: “How much [has] the Yemeni national team [achieved]?

“You guys have made your people happy. And everyone was happy. And you united all the sects and parties from the north of Yemen to the south, despite all the differences.

“The joy is one for all. You were able to unite your people and gather them with one common joy.”

Journalist Ali Al-Sakani reported during the aftermath of the match: “Tonight, every nook and cranny of Yemen is celebrating the [title win] – even in Marib city, despite ongoing war, pain and suffering.”

AFP quoted a UN Development Programme report from last month as saying that 377,000 people will have died by the end of 2021 as a result of the Yemen war.

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