Yemen: ICRC evacuates 44 wounded from Dammaj

An ICRC convoy sets off from Saada to Dammaj, to evacuate people injured in fighting there. © ICRC / v-p-ye-e-01020

An ICRC convoy sets off from Saada to Dammaj, to evacuate people injured in fighting there. © ICRC / v-p-ye-e-01020

ICRC Bulletin 

The ICRC has extracted casualties from the northern Yemeni town of Dammaj for the second time in less than a week, evacuating 44 wounded people today, 8 November.

"Four days after the first evacuation operation, our Saada team managed to return to Dammaj today and evacuate 44 casualties, along with a woman who was eight months pregnant, her two children and two other children accompanying their injured parent," said Cedric Schweizer, head of the ICRC delegation in Sana'a. This brings to 49 the number of people evacuated in today's operation.

The evacuees were taken to Saada airport by road, from where they were airlifted to Sana’a.

"It's getting increasingly difficult for medical personnel in Dammaj to cope with the types of injury caused by the fighting, and to perform surgery," Schweizer pointed out.

Because of the heavy fighting, people have been unable to move for several weeks, and cannot replenish their stocks of food, water, cooking gas, fuel and other essentials.

The ICRC stands ready to help people in Dammaj and in the entire governorate of Saada, who are suffering the effects of fighting between armed groups. However, it can only do so if the warring factions provide the necessary guarantees concerning the safety of both its teams and the evacuees.

Since the beginning of October, when fighting resumed in Dammaj, the ICRC has managed to access the city three times, on 24 October and on 4 and 8 November.

During those visits, it has:

  • evacuated seven casualties and one body to the military hospital in Saada (on 24 October); 
  • evacuated 67 severly wounded people to Saada, who were then flown to Sana'a for treatment (on 4 and 8 November);
  • delivered enough medicines and dressing materials on both sides of the front line to treat between 200 and 600 casualties, together with medicines to treat illnesses like diarrhoea and respiratory infections.

For further information, please contact:

Marie Claire Feghali, ICRC Sana'a, tel: + 967 73 607 19 67

Adnan Hizam, ICRC Sana'a, tel: + 967 733 721 659

Dibeh Fakhr, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 37 23, +41 79 447 37 26

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