Blast kills 2 civilians in Yemen

Blast kills 2 civilians in Yemen

Yemeni government says Iranian-backed Houthis responsible while Houthis blame Saudi-led coalition

By Aziz Ahmadi and Halime Afra Aksoy

ADEN, Yemen (AA) - Two civilians were killed Wednesday in an explosion in western Yemen, according to a local official.

Casualties were reported after an explosive device planted by the Houthi militia in the southern Al-Hayet area of Yemen’s port city of Al-Hudaydah detonated, Ali al-Ehdel, director of the office of the Yemeni Information Ministry, said in a statement on his social media account.

Meanwhile, the Houthi-run Al-Masirah television station said the two people died due to an explosion of ordnance left over from previous attacks by the Saudi-led Arab Coalition.

- Internal war in Yemen and deadly mines

In war-torn Yemen, mines laid by Houthi rebels in residential areas and on roads continue to threaten the lives of children, despite international efforts to clear them.

Conflicts between the legitimate government and the Houthis, which had been occurring sporadically since the 1960s and have been ongoing for the past nine years, pose a serious security threat, especially for children living in rural areas.

According to UN reports, in June, eight people were killed in six mine explosions in Al-Hudaydah, one of the most heavily mined areas in Yemen.

Since September 2014, Iran-backed Houthis have controlled the capital Sanaa and some regions in Yemen, while Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces have been supporting the Yemeni government against the Houthis since March 2015.

According to reports from the Yemeni government and human rights organizations, since the start of the internal war in 2014, the Houthis have laid around 2 million mines across the country. These mines have caused the deaths and injuries of thousands of civilians.

Human rights organizations estimate that there are more than 8,000 mine victims in Yemen, the majority of whom are women and children.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz in Ankara

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