Photo: Pexels
Photo: Pexels

Sanaa: Newborn Yemeni conjoined twins whose plight sparked a plea for urgent medical treatment overseas have died in Sanaa, rebels in the blockaded capital said. Abdelkhaleq and Abdelrahim were born outside Sanaa around two weeks ago and shared a kidney and a pair of legs but had separate hearts and lungs.

The head of paediatrics at Sanaa’s Al-Thawra hospital, Dr Faisal al-Babili, said his department lacked the facilities to treat or separate the newborn boys and appealed on Wednesday for help from abroad.

Huthi rebels, who have been fighting the Saudi-backed government since 2014, blamed a Riyadh-led military coalition for the deaths after “refusing to op­en Sanaa airport to allow them to get treatment”, according to the rebels’ media statement on Saturday. Late on Wednesday, the head of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Aid and Relief Centre, Abdullah al-Rabeeah, said he had a team that was prepared to treat them.

Rebel-held areas of Yemen have been under blockade by a Saudi-led military coalition since it intervened in support of the beleaguered government in March 2015. Health services have collapsed as the conflict has ground on and most hospitals are not equipped to provide specialist treatment for rare conditions.

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