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A massive fire was reported Saturday at a World Food Program facility in Yemen, in the Red Sea port city of Hodeida.

Yemen’s official news agency quoted a Yemeni official as saying the fire had severely damaged humanitarian aid held at the outpost. The cause of the fire was unclear.

An official told AFP the fire had engulfed four warehouses and destroyed an estimated 50 tons of food. Yemeni officials urged the United Nations to investigate.

The warehouse holds not only food but also mattresses and other supplies for Yemenis fleeing the ravages of civil war. Yemen’s current unrest broke out in 2015 between Iran-backed Shiite rebels and a Saudi-led coalition supporting the internationally recognized government.

Hodeida is a lifeline for the nation, which the U.N. says is on the verge of famine. Many Yemenis depend on food imports to survive.


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