Landmines victims… Houthi terrorism in Yemen

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September Net – Amar Za’abal

The lives of thousands of Yemeni families have been turned into a hell. Their homes, farms and roads are flooded with landmines and explosive devices laid by the Iran-backed Houthi militia. As a result, large number of civilians, mainly children and women, have killed and injured or disabled.

Many families were also forced to flee due to landmines. In the Serwah district of Marib province, large number of civilians had to displaced to other areas or to the main center of the province. They said that their origin areas have become a source of fear and grave. The Houthi militia planted mines and explosives with different types and forms in their homes, roads and valleys.

Abdullah al-Zaidi was one of those fled his village in Serwah. He decided to come back to his house and farms. But some of his relatives who came back with him were killed by the landmines. Also one child lost one of his legs due to Houthi militia-laid mines.

Landmines have become a trap hunting civilians in several Yemeni areas, like Mocha and Moza’ in Taiz, and al-Khukha and Hais in al-Hodeidah. People of these areas can’t return to their villages and houses because the Houthi rebels have randomly planted mines in everywhere.

Abdullah Salem, a deminer , said “Houthi rebels committed a war crimes against Yemenis as they plant landmines in a random way. We don’t have maps for these mines.”

He continues: Houthi militias have ignored all international humanitarian laws, including  those regarding ensuring a safe return for displaced persons…They  ( the Houthis) commit war crimes every day… They must be tried in the international court and being classified as criminals.”

The Doctors Without Borders has said in its recent report that the “population are being surrounded by mines and the victims of Houthi-laid mines are civilians who either being killed or become disabled forever.

“Many of our patients are children who were wounded by explosions of mines improvised explosive devices, and unexploded ordnance while playing in fields” said the report.

According the organization , the residents of some districts in Hodeidah and the coastal areas of Taiz were deprived from their sources of income after they were displaced to other areas, leaving behind their agricultural fields, which were largely planted with mines by Houthi rebels.

Moreover, the Houthi rebel militia  have planted landmines and explosive devices in 14 governorates; Hodeidah, Hajjah, Sa’ada, Marib, Taiz, Abyan, Shabwah, Aden, Lahj, Al-Jawf, Al-Bayda, Al-Dhale, Sana’a, Meon Island.

A report by the legitimate government said “the Houthi militia has planted more than a million landmine in different areas across the country.”

The Executive Mine Action Center has managed to remove about 300 thousand landmines and explosive devises .Also the Saudi project for demining in Yemen “MASAM” has extracted more than 55 thousand mines. All of these mines and explosive were planted by the Houthi militia in roads, farms, houses, and schools across Yemen.

Taiz is the most mine-affected province

As many as 3016 civilians have been killed and injured by Houthi-laid mines in Taiz city  during the period 2015 – 2018.

A recent report by Human Rights Information and Training Center detailed the number of victims in Taiz city as 743 civilians have been killed , including 35 children and 16 women. While 1176 including 21 women and 43 children were injured.

Marib .. Permanent disabilities

According to statistics of the human rights office in Marib governorate, the Houthi rockets, mines killed 428 civilians, including 117 children, 49 women. It has also caused permanent disabilities  to 255 civilians.

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