Last Update 13:2
Monday, 18 November 2019

UNESCO condemns air strike on heritage site in Yemen capital

AFP , Friday 12 Jun 2015
Rescuers, mostly neighbors and local men, attempt to dig a family out of a collapsed home after a Saudi-led airstrike in the old city of Sanaa, Yemen, on Friday, June 12, 2015 (Photo: AP)
Views: 1054
Views: 1054

UNESCO condemned an air strike by the Saudi-led coalition on Old Sanaa Friday, a heritage site in Yemen's capital it described as "one of the world's oldest jewels" of Islamic culture.

"This destruction will only exacerbate the humanitarian situation and I reiterate my call to all parties to respect and protect cultural heritage in Yemen," said UNESCO director general Irina Bokova in a statement.

"I am profoundly distressed by the loss of human lives as well as by the damage inflicted on one of the world's oldest jewels of Islamic urban landscape."

The pre-dawn air strike by the Saudi-led coalition killed five people and destroyed three houses in the UNESCO-listed site.

Residents said it was the first direct hit on old Sanaa since the start of the bombing campaign against Houthi rebels in late March.

The missile hit the Qassimi neighbourhood, which boasts thousands of houses built before the 11th century, an AFP journalist reported.

"I am shocked by the images of these magnificent many-storeyed tower-houses and serene gardens reduced to rubble," said Bokova.

Sanaa's old city, situated in a mountain valley, has been inhabited for more than 2,500 years and was a major centre for the propagation of Islam, boasting over 100 mosques, 14 public baths and more than 6,000 houses built before the 11th century.

It was included on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1986.

The multi-storey houses rising above stone ground floors were built of rammed earth and burnt brick. Each building is decorated with geometric patterns of fired bricks and white gypsum, inspired by traditional Islamic art.

"The historic value and memories enshrined in these sites have been irreparably damaged or destroyed," said Bokova.

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

13-06-2015 06:03pm
Not different from Karnack
Destroying world heritage treasures is a criminal act, there is no much difference between the terrorists who tried to destroy the Karnack temple in Egypt and the extremist state that is destroying the UNESCO sites in Yemen; both are criminals, motivated by extremist religious ideology!
Comment's Title

© 2010 Ahram Online.