Yemen's Houthi militias use children to plant mines in liberated areas: minister

Yemen’s minister of human rights Dr. Mohammed Askar revealed that Houthi militias backed by Iran are using children to plant mines in areas that they are being expelled from. (AFP)
Updated 22 June 2018
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Yemen's Houthi militias use children to plant mines in liberated areas: minister

  • Yemen’s minister of human rights revealed that Houthi militias backed by Iran are using children to plant mines in areas that they are being expelled from.
  • Askar explained that Houthi militias used different types of mines, including anti-personnel mines which are banned in residential areas and are very dangerous, and camouflaged and improvised mines.

LONDON: Yemen’s minister of human rights Dr. Mohammed Askar revealed that Houthi militias backed by Iran are using children to plant mines in areas that they are being expelled from. He also said that they are planting bombs in houses, hospitals, and places of worship, threatening civilians.
Askar explained that Houthi militias used different types of mines, including anti-personnel mines which are banned in residential areas and are very dangerous, and camouflaged and improvised mines.
The Houthi militias have also invented new ways of using anti-vehicle mines and transforming them so that they can be used as anti-personnel mines with the intention of killing and injuring as many people as possible.
He added that Houthi militias have exploited the difficult economic and social conditions and the complex tribal nature of Yemen to attract and recruit children.
Many families send their children to join the Houthis in exchange for 50,000 Yemeni riyals ($150) in order to fulfil their daily needs, especially in large families.
Houthis are also carrying out campaigns to religiously mobilize children in Saudi where students are given weekly lessons on the benefits of war.


EU ‘considering sanctions on Iran’

An Iranian diplomat was arrested in July along with two people accused of plotting to blow up a rally of opposition activists. (File/AFP)
Updated 20 sec ago
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EU ‘considering sanctions on Iran’

  • The ministers said technical work could now start on an EU-wide asset freeze on two Iranians and the Iranian intelligence service
  • In March, Britain, France and Germany proposed to sanction Iran over its development of ballistic missiles and its role in Syria’s war

BRUSSELS: EU foreign ministers have endorsed a French government decision to sanction Iranian nationals accused of a bomb plot in France, potentially allowing the measures to take effect across the bloc, three diplomats said.

The ministers said technical work could now start on an EU-wide asset freeze on two Iranians and the Iranian intelligence service over a failed plot to carry out a bomb attack at a rally near Paris organized by an exiled Iranian opposition group.

Denmark, which in October said it suspected an Iranian government intelligence service had tried to carry out an assassination plot on its soil, also pushed for support for similar EU-wide sanctions once its investigation is complete, the diplomats told Reuters.

Though largely symbolic, the EU’s readiness to target Iranians marks a shift after months of division within the bloc over how to punish Iranians accused of destabilizing activities in Europe and the Middle East.

In an effort to balance their Iran policy, ministers also discussed setting up a special mechanism to trade with Iran that would be under EU, not national, law. They believe this formula could shield individual member states from being hit by US sanctions that have been reimposed on trade with Iran after Washington’s pullout from the nuclear deal.

In March, Britain, France and Germany proposed to sanction Iran over its development of ballistic missiles and its role in Syria’s war, but the initiative failed to gather sufficient support across the EU to take effect.

The EU move came as British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt visited Iran on Monday for talks about the conflict in Yemen and freeing UK nationals held in Iranian jails.

Hunt met his counterpart, Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, and they discussed plans to keep trade flowing in spite of renewed US sanctions, according to Iranian media.

But Hunt was particularly focused on the conflict in Yemen, where Iran is accused of supplying weapons to Houthi militias.