Saudi mine program removes hundreds of deadly Houthi devices in first week of June

Saudi mine program removes hundreds of deadly Houthi devices in first week of June
Hundreds of civilians are killed and injured by landmines every year. (File/AFP)
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Updated 08 June 2020

Saudi mine program removes hundreds of deadly Houthi devices in first week of June

Saudi mine program removes hundreds of deadly Houthi devices in first week of June
  • Landmines prevent essential aid from reaching those most in need
  • Mines kill and injure hundreds of children and adults in Yemen every year

DUBAI: The Saudi mine action program “Masam” has removed 852 Houthi landmines from areas across Yemen during the first week of June, state news agency SABA reported.

Masam said there had been 168,155 landmines removed since the mine clearance program started in the country in May, 2018.

More than 1.1 million mines have been laid by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia in Yemen during the conflict, claiming hundreds of civilian lives.

In April 2019, Human Rights Watch said Houthi-laid mines had killed hundreds of civilians, obstructed their movement and prevented lifeline humanitarian aid from reaching people.

The Masam project is one of several initiatives undertaken by the Kingdom to help ease the suffering of Yemeni people, the supervisor general of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center Dr Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, said.

The Masam program aims to locate and destroy explosive devices illegally planted by Iranian-backed Houthi militias to help bring back safety and security in the state.


Bahrainis detained by Qatar return to kingdom

Bahrainis detained by Qatar return to kingdom
Updated 14 min 49 sec ago

Bahrainis detained by Qatar return to kingdom

Bahrainis detained by Qatar return to kingdom
  • The 3 were released by Qatari authorities on Thursday and arrived in Bahrain via Oman
  • They were arrested while fishing, Bahrain says they were in territorial waters

DUBAI: Three Bahrainis detained by Qatar have arrived back in the kingdom after Manama helped to extradite their release, the Bahrain News Agency reported on Friday.
Bodybuilding champion Sami Al-Haddad, his friend Mohammed Al-Dossari and fisherman Habib Abbas were released by Qatari authorities on Thursday after they were arrested by Qatari coast and border security while fishing at sea, in two separate incidents. Bahrain said that the three citizens were in the country’s territorial waters.
The three men thanked Bahrain’s King Hamad and Crown Prince and Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad for the attention and care that they had received, which they said had a great impact on their release and return.
They also thanked the interior ministry, headed by Lt. Gen. Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah, and the foreign ministry, headed by Abdullatif Al-Zayani, for their efforts and the measures that contributed to their safe return.
The men said that they were proud to see the “patriotic interest they received for their cause,” both from the government and the Bahraini people.
Bahrain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its “profound thanks and gratitude to Oman for the efforts made by the authorities in the sultanate to coordinate and follow up on the release of Bahraini citizens detained in Qatar and to facilitate their return to Bahrain.”
The three arrived in Oman on Thursday following their release, the kingdom’s embassy in Muscat confirmed.
The ministry said that the release of the citizens by Qatar was “a step that reflects the spirit required toward resolving the outstanding issues between the two countries in order to enhance the process of cooperation between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.”
The statement also said that Bahrain hoped that Qatar would release Asian sailors who work on Bahraini fishing vessels, and take into account their humanitarian situation.
Bahrain, along with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt, ended a three-year rift with Qatar on Jan. 5 following a GCC summit in the historic city of AlUla, formally restoring diplomatic relations and opening their land, sea and air borders.