Landmines threaten lives of citizens in Hajja
Al-Doaiss was happy to see that his house was unharmed, and proceeded to check all the rooms. As he reached the bathroom, a landmine exploded and tore him to pieces.
As returnees increasingly wished to learn of the reasons behind the blast, another landmine exploded and wounded eight other persons on March 22. They were transferred to a hospital in nearby Jezan, in Saudi Arabia.
Hadi Wardan, a member of the local authority for Sharis in Hajja, said the situation in Ahem is very hazardous and that people were the victims of two devils, fighting Houthi tribesmen and landmines.
He said that they suffered when they fled their homes three months ago in response to battles between local Sunni tribesmen. When they returned to their homes in early March, they discovered that landmines had been planted in their areas.
Wardan demanded that the government and President Abd Rabo Mansour Hadi help the residents of Ahem by sending de-mining experts and protection for civilians.
According to Wardan, about 3,000 landmines were planted by Houthis in Ahem and Kushar. He emphasized that they were behind the deaths of 21 persons at different times in March 2012.
Last Friday, the Interior Ministry confirmed that the landmines had killed ten persons in Ahem and had wounded 15 others. The ministry also stated that three landmines had exploded inside returnees’ homes.
The ministry added that 15 wounded persons had been taken to bordering Saudi hospitals.
Tribal leaders in Kushar accused Houthis of planting landmines in Ahem, including the three landmines that exploded in homes.
For his part, Abu Hashim, a member of the media office for the Houthi group in Sa’ada, said the war in Hajja was between the Houthi group and the Islah Party, and affirmed their (the Houthis) right to use all types of weapons - including landmines.
«However, there have been exaggerations about the number of planted landmines; their number is fewer than was reported,» the Houthi media office member said.
He said that since the beginning of March, the war had come to a standstill, the result of efforts exerted by a tribal mediation committee, and affirmed that at the present time, there is peace in Hajja.
The Yemen Times received a list containing the names of the people killed by landmines in Hajja in March.
However, no de-mining missions have yet been sent to the area, which may allow the number of casualties to rise in the coming days.