Yemen’s national army has seized 300,000 mines planted by Houthi militia in liberated areas, it was announced on Monday.
“In the past two years, the National Army has managed to extract 300,000 mines planted by the Houthi militia in liberated areas, including 40,000 mines on the outskirts of Marib province,” a statement on the army’s website read.
According to army officials in Yemen, the country has been subjected to the “largest mine-laying operation since the end of the Second World War.”
That statement added that the total number of mines laid by the militia exceeds half a million mines, and that this “huge amount continues to pose a sustainable threat to the lives of civilians.”
International human rights groups have previously condemned Iran-backed Houthi militias for their use of the banned antipersonnel landmines in Yemen that have caused numerous civilian casualties and hindered the safe return of people to displaced by fighting.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on Houthis last year to “immediately cease using these weapons and observe the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, which Yemen ratified in 1998.”
According to the group, landmines have been used in at least six governorates since the Saudi-led Arab coalition began military operations in support of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi in March 2015.
HRW said Mines have killed and maimed hundreds of civilians and disrupted civilian life in affected areas.