CAIRO (AP) — Three children and one woman have been critically injured in a land mine explosion in Yemen, according to medical officials.
In a statement, Doctors Without Borders, or MSF, said the mine detonated Thursday when one of the children began playing with the device, which also injured three others nearby.
The group did not reveal the location of the explosion. It said the four casualties arrived at a hospital in the besieged city of Taiz and were transferred to other health facilities.
Land mines have been laid in Yemen since the 1960s. However, since the outbreak of war in 2014 there has been an uptick in their use. According to Yemeni Landmine Records, a group that documents land mine casualties, 32 people in Yemen were killed by land mines and other unexploded ordinances 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 land mines. The U.S.-based Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project said Houthi land mines 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 9th year, the conflict has since turned into one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises and killed over 150,000 people.