( dpa ) - At least four people were injured when a fire destroyed 30 homes Sunday in a Sana'a shanty area populated by the Akhdam, or servants, one of the most vulnerable ethnic groups in Yemen, residents said.
They said the fire destroyed 30 huts and left more than 150 people homeless in the Mahwa Dar Salm area in southern Sana'a.
Police officers at the scene said the cause of the fire was not immediately known, and that an investigation was initiated.
They said police helped residents put the fire down and saved more than 180 adjacent huts in the area that houses around 2,000 people from the Akhdam community.
Akhdams, or Black Yemenis, who do not belong to any of the major Arab tribes, descend from Ethiopian invaders from the sixth century. After the Ethiopian invasion failed, they became slaves and servants.
With the abolition of slavery in Yemen after the 1962 revolution, the Akhdams were freed from slavery, but they still face widespread discrimination and economic hardship, with most of them now working as sanitary workers or garbage collectors.