Thousands of Houthi-laid landmines detonated in western Yemen: official

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-20 03:49:16|Editor: yan
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ADEN, Yemen, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of landmines laid by the Houthi rebels were detonated by explosives experts in Yemen's western coast area on Tuesday, a military official told Xinhua.

"Nearly 6,325 mines and explosives were detonated by a team of the Saudi Landmine Clearance Project in the country's western coast area," the military official said on condition of anonymity.

Detonating the dismantled Houthi-laid mines came after coordination with the Saudi-led Arab coalition and the Yemeni government, he added.

Experts of the Saudi mine-clearing project are still continuing their operations along Yemen's western coast areas and in Hodeidah, the official noted.

Large swathes of Yemen have been swamped by randomly-planted landmines, posing a lingering threat to the lives of citizens across the war-torn country.

According to the United Nations, thousands of landmines, unexploded ordnance and other explosive war remnants have been left behind during the ongoing conflict in Yemen which has entered its fifth year.

The impoverished Arab country has been locked into a civil war since the Iran-backed Houthi rebels overran much of the country militarily in 2014, seizing all northern provinces including the capital Sanaa.

Saudi Arabia, which has been leading an anti-Houthi military coalition since early 2015, launched a project to dismantle mines in Yemen in June 2018.

As part of a 40-million-U.S.-dollar initiative launched by Saudi Arabia, the project aims to remove mines left by Houthi militias and equip the Yemeni specialists with the skills and resources necessary to clear landmines.