Sana’a: Yemen security services in the southern province of Taiz are investigating the rape and death of a two-year-old Somali child, security officials told Gulf News.

“Nine days ago a Somali woman came to us claiming that her two-year-old child had been raped by a Somali refugee,” said Abdul Hakim Najad, a security official of Al Mudhafar district in Taiz.

“The child was almost dead. The mother presented a medical report from Al Mukhtar hospital in Dhale saying the child had been raped and was suffering from internal injuries,” he added.

The rape allegedly took place in Dhale and the mother reported the incident in Taiz. The child was admitted to Taiz’s Al Thawra Hospital, where she later died. Her body is in the hospital’s morgue.

The security official said that police immediately arrested the Somali refugee.

The mother, who is married to a rich man in Somalia, claims to have left her child in the custody of the accused, aged 25. Upon returning, she is said to have found her child bleeding.

Both the mother and the accused were questioned by detectives, who, however, could not get much out of them as neither speaks Arabic and they could not get a translator.

The detectives said the suspect denied raping the child. The case has been referred to Taiz’s prosecution, said Abdul Hakim Al Maghbesh, the director of Taiz’s Criminal Investigation. The defendant, however, could be detained for some time as judges are on strike.

The two security officials interviewed declined to provide a copy of the report saying it had been sent to the prosecution.

The incident first came to light on September 25 when the official website of the Ministry of Interior reported that a Somali girl, eight, was raped and died in the Al Mudhafar district in Taiz.

The ministry said the perpetrator was a Somali man aged 45 and named him as Hussain Ali Mohammad Dawood, who is said to have entered Yemen illegally.