South African, European demining experts killed in Yemen

Riyadh (AFP) –


Five demining experts killed in a weekend explosion in Yemen were from South Africa and several European countries, a Saudi-run organisation in charge of the project said Monday.

The state-run King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief) said two South Africans, a Croatian, a Bosnian and a Kosovan were killed Sunday when a vehicle carrying mines to be destroyed exploded in the central province of Marib.

A British national was injured in the explosion, KSRelief said without naming the casualties.

War-torn Yemen is home to what the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with 24 million people in need of assistance and millions on the brink of famine.

The World Health Organization estimates that around 10,000 Yemenis have been killed since 2015, when a Saudi-led military coalition intervened in support of the government in the fight against Iran-backed rebels.

Rights groups say both sides have committed potential war crimes.

The Huthi rebels have been accused of the widespread and indiscriminate use of landmines, while the Saudi-led coalition has faced criticism for deadly air raids on civilians.

Yemen is a signatory to the Mine Ban Treaty, an international pact which came into force in 1999 and aims to eliminate landmines and clear up vast tracts of affected land.