Taiz – Landmines planted by Houthi militias and ousted Ali Abdullah Saleh in Taiz Province, the third largest Yemeni city in south Capital Sana’a, have caused numerous civilian casualties regardless if they were women, children or elderly.
These militias have not committed themselves to Mine Ban Treaty of 1997, which Yemen joined in 1998.
Landmines planted by Houthi militias have caused the injury and death of many civilians and have hindered the passage of families displaced from their house as Houthis have planted these mines on the main streets that link the city to other villages in the province.
The militias have also planted mines in neighborhoods, especially those close to become under the control of the national army and the Popular Resistance forces.
Many landmines have caused the explosion of emergency vehicles, thus causing the death of the paramedics, who were supposed to treat the injured.
On August 9, 2016, 11 civilians, including seven children, were killed by an anti-vehicle mine in al-Waziyah, a western part of Taiz; two of the children were 4 years old.
While total figures for landmine casualties in Taiz are not available, landmines killed at least 18 people and wounded more than 39 in the Taiz governorate between May 2015 and April 2016, according to Against Mines National Organization (AMNO), a Taiz-based group.
All but one of the 18 deaths documented were caused by antivehicle mines while nine of 11 permanent injuries were from antipersonnel mines.
The group documented that landmines in Taiz killed five children, caused permanent disabilities to four and wounded 13.
For his part, Arms Director at Human Rights Watch Steve Goose said: “Houthi and allied forces are showing cold-hearted cruelty toward civilians by using landmines.”
“Yemen’s warring parties should immediately stop laying mines, destroying mines in their possession and ensuring that demining teams can work unimpeded so that families can return home safely.”