Political Analysis

Landmines threaten lives in Al-Qaeda’s absence

National Yemen

Military forces in Abyen celebrate victory against Ansar Al-Sharia

By NY Staff

By the time news agencies had announced that Ansar Al-Sharia militants had cleared out of Abyan governorate and that locals had returned to their homes, 19 citizens had been killed in landmine explosions in Zunjubar city alone.

According to local sources, a single landmine exploded and killed seven in Zinjubar. The explosion occurred following the withdrawal of Al-Qaeda militants from the governorate’s capital city.

The same sources reported that another landmine had exploded in Al-Koud district, killing a number of citizens. “Despite having imposed control over the governorate, the military forces failed to remove landmines planted by Ansar Al-Sharia militants,” added the source.

Armed battles continue to be waged in the area, and most of those who returned to their homes have since departed in response to the fighting and a lack of basic services and utilities, including water and electricity.

“We heard landmines explode near governmental institutions and then found four anonymous bodies in a house which had been used by Al-Qaeda militants before their withdrawal,” stated local citizens.

Besides removing those planted on main streets which they use, the Yemeni army has reportedly failed to take any effective steps towards the removal of landmines.