Two children killed in Houthi landmine blast
Two children were killed and one was critically injured after landmine، planted by Houthi militants in Magzer district of Yemen’s Marib governorate، detonated.
The fatalities have been identified as eight-year-old Saqer Mohamed Sinan and 12-year-old Qa’ed Abdullah Khaimah Ashareef، while 13-year-old Ghazi Faraj Ahmed Sinan suffered serious injuries، Yemeni News Agency reported.
Villagers in the district have reported that the Houthis have been adamant not to extract the landmines they have randomly and intensively planted in roads، farms and residential areas.
Saudi Arabia’s Project Masam has so far located and destroyed 360،573 explosive devices including 5،672 anti-personnel mines، 132،637 anti-tank mines، 7،486 IEDs and 214،778 unexploded ordnances in Yemeni liberated areas since it was launched mid-2018.
The Iran-backed group has refused to renew the UN-brokered cease-fire، which took effect in April and has twice been renewed، and has resumed aggressive military operations in Marib، Taiz and Dhale after the last truce expired on Sunday.
The US has praised the UAE’s strong support for Yemen's truce and called for greater international backing after attempts to extend the ceasefire failed.
Tim Lenderking، the US envoy to Yemen، held a meeting with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed، Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation.
"We must support stability across Yemen and help the country get back on the path to durable peace،" Mr Lenderking said during the meeting.
The US State Department issued a statement which said the envoy welcomed the UAE's backing for the UN-led truce and for Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council.
The war in Yemen erupted in 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthi rebels ousted the government from the capital Sanaa.
The ceasefire، which came into effect at 7pm on April 2 and was extended twice for two-month periods، brought relative calm across the country.
Long-standing issues، such as reopening the roads around the besieged city of Taez and paying civil servants' salaries after six years of stagnation، have hampered real progress towards political peace.
The Houthi rebels، who are at war against the internationally recognised government، rejected a proposal put forth by the UN's special envoy، Hans Grundberg، to extend the truce for a further six months and to broaden it to new areas of agreement.
Yemen's Foreign Minister، Ahmed bin Mubarak، said his government wanted to renew the ceasefire with the rebels and would not escalate the conflict.
"We are determined to renew the ceasefire and address all problems through dialogue،" Mr Mubarak said during a visit to Morocco.
According to humanitarian groups، the truce facilitated moves to alleviate the dire humanitarian situation in the country.
Mr Mubarak said the government wanted to preserve those gains.
"We have not made any escalatory moves، despite the Houthis announcing that the Red Sea is a military zone and directly threatening ships،" he said.
Nearly 80 per cent of Yemen's population depends on aid after eight years of war.