Conflicts & War

Orphaned, mutilated at age 8: another life destroyed by Yemen’s war

Khaled Abdala

Sana, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- Ammar Jafran, an eight-year-old Yemeni boy, who has been frozen in a state of shock since a bombing 10 months ago wiped out much of his family and left him without a leg, quietly waits before his session to have a prosthetic limb fitted at a clinic in Sana.

“He has hardly spoken since that night when the Saudi air force bombed us,” his uncle, Ali Jafran, tells Efe, as a medical worker massages what is left of the child’s thigh.

Ammar is just one of the thousands of children who carry the deep wounds of a war that has dragged on for five years, with seemingly no end in sight.

His life took a dramatic turn when, on the night of February 16, an attack by the coalition of Arab countries that supports the internationally recognized government of Yemen fighting Hutu rebels killed most of his family in the district of Al Masloub, in the northwest of the country.

Ammar, who was lucky to survive, lost his right leg. Now, the simple act of walking is a laborious and very painful exercise.

“It was around 1:30am when the bombs started falling on the village,” his uncle remembers.

The air strike hit a house next door, and Ammar and his family ran to seek shelter under the trees of a nearby farm.

Half an hour later, a bomb hit them, leaving the boy with several wounds and fractures, as well as killing several of his family members.

A total of 31 civilians were killed in the bombing and 12 others were injured, according to figures from the United Nations.

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