At least 78 people have died in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, after a stampede.

Dozens more are said to be injured, according to Houthi-controlled news, during an event where financial aid was being distributed in the Old City.

A statement from the country’s Houthi-controlled interior ministry called what happened “tragic” and “painful”, saying it was a “random distribution of money by some merchants without coordination with the Ministry of Interior and without organization”.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player


What’s happening in Yemen?

It added: “The dead and injured were taken to hospitals and two of the merchants responsible for the matter were arrested.”

Spokesperson Brigadier Al-Ajri also said an investigation is underway, and that, “we extend our sincere condolences and condolences to all the families of the victims, asking Allah Almighty to keep their hearts patient.”

Eyewitnesses told the Associated Press that Houthis shot up into the air to try and control the crowds, with a round said to have hit an electrical wire which caused it to explode and triggering panic on the ground.

They also said the money being handed out amounted to 5,000 Yemeni riyals – about £16.

More on Yemen

The Associated Press added Houthi rebels worked to seal off the location where the money was being distributed, and blocked journalists from accessing it.

Senior health official Motaher al-Marouni said at least 13 of the injured were seriously hurt.

Iranian-backed Houthis have controlled Sanaa since 2014, when it overthrew the internationally-recognised government there.

Saudi Arabia attempted to intervene in 2015, but the conflict later became a proxy war against Iran, with more than 150,000 people dying as a result – one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the world.