Pro-gov’t Yemeni forces continue demining operations in Hodeidah

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ADEN, Yemen, July 26 (Xinhua) — The pro-government Yemeni forces continued Friday in clearing landmines laid by the Houthis in the country’s Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, a military official told Xinhua.

The military official, who preferred to be unnamed, said “the demining teams of the pro-government forces collected and detonated mines, rockets and improvised explosive devices in a safe area in Hodeidah’s southern part.”

The majority of the dismantled landmines were laid by the Houthis in deserted roads and near residential areas, said the official.

He added that the demining operation and disposal of mines will continue in the upcoming days to save the lives of civilians.

On Tuesday, experts of the pro-government forces managed to destroy around 600 dismantled landmines and explosive devices that were previously laid by the Houthis in different areas in Hodeidah.

Landmines and explosives of various kinds and sizes are considered a deadly long-standing threat to the lives of millions of Yemenis and have killed and injured hundreds of them, including women and children.

Previous reports of humanitarian organizations suggested that Yemen has become one of the largest landmine battlefields in the world since the World War II.

The Houthis launched a large military campaign and seized the capital Sanaa in late 2014, forcing Yemen’s President Abdu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and his government into exile in neighboring Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries intervened militarily and began pounding the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa in March 2015 in response to an official public request from Hadi to protect Yemen and roll back Iran’s influence.

The conflict between the Houthis and the Saudi-backed Yemeni government has recently entered its fifth year, aggravating the suffering of Yemenis and deepening the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

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