Houthis-laid mines threat Yemeni’s lives
September Net _ Mohammed Mansour
Iran-backed Houthi coup militias have hysterically planted banned landmines and explosive devices in several residential areas, cities, farms and main roads in all the provinces under their control, causing numerous civilian casualties and disrupted life in affected areas.
Daily crimes committed by the Houthi militias against innocent civilians in the areas of their control.
International reports confirmed that the Houthi militias have laid more than a million landmines since the war started, turning Yemen into the most-mined nation since World War II.
The National Demining Program with cooperation of Saudi project “MASAM” extracted and destroyed yesterday, Wednesday, 868 mines planted by Houthi militia in Alyatamah area of al-Jawf province before fleeing ahead of the advance of the national army.
A report issued recently by Training and Information Center for Human Rights said that the center’s monitors have documented 135 human right violations in Taiz city during last January. It mentioned that 68 civilians including one woman and child were killed due to Houthi militias-laid landmines and explosive devices.
The Saudi project for demining “MASAM” has announced that it had removed 41,591 landmines since the start of the project in June 2018 until February 7, 2019
MASAM said those mines were planted in different kinds and various disguised shapes by the coupist militias in public roads, schools houses, farms in several Yemeni provinces.
Farmers in the villages of Yakhtal district, north-east of the Mukha directorate in Taiz city were able to return to their farms and began to plant them after being cleared from thousands of mines planted indiscriminately by Houthi militias earlier.
A number of farmers expressed their happiness and gratitude for the role played by the engineering teams of the national army in clearing their farms from the thousands of mines which enabled them to return and plant them because it’s their only source of income.
In the province of Hodeidah, the Houthi rebels planted similar quantity of landmines in several residential areas, leaving hundreds of civilian casualties mostly women and children.
Two days ago, one child were killed and his brother sustained several injures due to landmine explosion in the province of Hodeidah.
Medical source said the 10-year-old child Mo’ad Mohammad al-Nahari was killed while his elder brother was injured in an explosion of a landmine planted earlier by Houthi coup militias.
In the same context, three civilians were killed on Wednesday in an explosion of explosive device planted by Houthi coup militias in the south of Hodeidah province.
Local sources said to September Net that an explosive device went off in the village of al-Dawh in Hais district, killing two sisters Alayah Ali Basharah and Gawdah Ali Basharah and also another civilians Fteni Mosayb Basharah.
A report issued by Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) on January 31, entitled “How Houthi’s mines kill civilians in Yemen” highlighted the impacts of Houthi militias-laid mines on civilians.
The reports mentioned that five foreign experts working for the Saudi-funded demining project “MASAM” were killed while transporting mines from the organisation’s headquarters in Marib. A mine they were carrying went off in the truck, causing a powerful blast that killed the five men and injured one ( 22 January 2019).
This incident, however, is not isolated and is revealing of the wider risk that the largely unmapped mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) continue to pose to Yemeni civilians countrywide.
ACLED recorded at least 267 civilian fatalities in 140 reported incidents attributed to Houthi-planted mines and IEDs since 2016.
Yet the sources claim that up to 920 civilians may have been killed, along with thousands injured and maimed.
Mine blasts have intensified since the Arab Coalition backed Yemeni forces in the western province of Hodeidah, which accounts for nearly 60% of total civilian deaths linked to mines planted by the Houthis in 2018 (ACLED, 6 June 2018).
Mine incidents have gradually increased over the past year and culminated in December 2018 and January 2019, the deadliest months since ACLED started to record violent events in Yemen.
A closer look at the data, however, could help explain the drivers behind this increase. Between January and May last year, Houthi-planted mines reportedly killed an average of three civilians each month in Hodeidah.
The districts of At Tuhayat, Ad Durahyimi, Al Khawkhah, and Hays – all situated south of Hodeidah – account for more than 70% of the total mine incidents recorded across the province. This spike does not appear to be a mere by-product of flaring violence, but rather seems to replicate a pattern observed in Aden in 2015, when Houthi- militias retreating from the southern port city indiscriminately deployed thousands of anti-personnel and anti-tank landmines.
In addition to spreading insecurity, the pervasive use of explosive devices is also impairing economic activity. Landmines disseminated in grazing lands have frequently hit farmers and animals, which constitute the main source of livelihood for many families in rural areas.
In the Red Sea, the Houthis have reportedly laid sea mines threatening commercial shipping and fishermen.
According to ACLED data, improvised sea mines have killed at least thirteen fishermen off the coast of Hodeidah since last July.
The Saudi project for demining “MASAM” has announced that it had removed 578 landmines planted by Houthi coup militias in different areas of Yemen in the first week of February.
MASAM has removed a total of 41,591 landmines of all kinds and various disguised shapes planted by the coupist militia in public roads, schools and houses.