Mines planted by Iranian-backed Houthis have killed more than 900 civilians in southwestern Yemen since 2015, according to a local NGO.

A total of 942 civilians, including 223 children and 217 women, died over the last six years due to mines planted by Houthi militias in the Taiz province, the Yemeni Mine Observatory said in a statement.

The mines also injured 2,321 civilians, including 406 children and 365 women, the statement said.

Teams are stepping up efforts to clear regions liberated by government forces of mines, it added.

Human rights groups estimate that there are more than 8,000 mine victims in Yemen, most of them women and children.

Yemen’s government claims that Houthis planted nearly a million mines in areas under their control.

Yemen has been wracked by violence and instability since 2014, when Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

A Saudi-led coalition aimed at reinstating the Yemeni government has worsened the situation, causing one of the world’s worst man-made humanitarian crises, with nearly 80% or about 30 million of its people needing humanitarian assistance and protection and more than 13 million in danger of starving to death.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz

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