SANAA, Yemen (AP) — A landmine killed a 13-year-old boy in the contested Yemeni city of Hodeida, medical and security officials said Friday, the latest in a string of similar incidents in the war-torn country.
It came a day after three children and one woman were critically injured in a landmine explosion, according an aid group.
The explosion Friday happened on a city street and also seriously injured a teenager, said officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media.
Thursday's blast happened when a child began playing with a landmine. The explosion injured that child and the three others nearby, Doctors Without Borders said. It said the four casualties arrived at a hospital in the besieged city of Taiz and were transferred to other health facilities.
Landmines have been laid in Yemen since the 1960s. However, since the outbreak of war in 2014, both sides have planted more. According to Yemeni Landmine Records, a group that documents landmine casualties, 32 people in Yemen were killed by landmines and other unexploded ordinance last month.
Yemen's ruinous civil war began after Iranian backed-Houthi rebels swept down from the northern mountains and seized the capital, Sanaa, along with much of the north of the country, ousting the internationally recognized government. Saudi Arabia entered the war in 2015 on the side of Yemen’s exiled government.
Houthi rebels have widely used landmines. The U.S.-based Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project said Houthi landmines killed at least 122 people between 2016 and 2018.
“Due to the difficulty of obtaining accurate estimates, these figures are likely to make up a fraction of all mine detonations involving civilians in Yemen,” ACLED said in a 2018 report.
Waves of Saudi-led airstrikes have also been accused of killing thousands of civilians, striking markets, hospitals and weddings during the eight-year conflict.
Now entering its ninth year, the conflict has since turned into one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises and killed over 150,000 people, according to the database project.