One of Project Masam’s teams has removed 360 anti-tank mines in less than 24 hours after civilians reported a landmine explosion accident in the strategic northern governorate of Marib.
Since Yemen’s civil was began in 2014, Houthi militias have planted land and seamines across the war-torn country. Whilst the Houthis’ use of landmines has been widely documented since at least 2015, the sheer number of landmines planted in recent months in high-risk areas – such as Marib – has led experts to warn that the armed group’s new tactics could hamper mine eradication in Yemen, as well as pose an increased threat to the safety, health and lives of Yemenis.
Led by Hamid Saleh Mohammed, Masam’s Team 1 travelled to the area of Shuget Mai in Marib Al Wadi after Masam received credible reports of a landmine accident involving a civilian vehicle.
Upon arriving on the site, Team 1 removed 360 anti-tank mines from the immediate area where the accident occurred during the first 24 hours of clearance. By the end of the week (19-25 February 2022), the team located 504 anti-tank mines from the area.
Over the same period, 16 teams operating out of Masam’s Marib headquarters cleared and removed a total of 52 anti-personnel landmines and 799 anti-tank landmines.
Masam teams are tasked to clear areas of immediate humanitarian priority: villages, roads, healthcare centres and schools in order to facilitate the safe movement of civilians and humanitarian goods and services. While Masam teams respond to requests from locals and local authorities to assist with clearance operations, the number of requests has grown overwhelmingly in the past six months.
Because planning and distribution of tasks remain in line with immediate priorities, Masam teams tend to more urgent tasks first, with quick response teams sent to investigate mine accidents reported by civilians.