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ADEN, 14 February 2024 - Two children have been killed and three others seriously injured in southern Yemen following a landmine explosion on Monday, bringing the total number of casualties from explosive ordnance in the country this year to at least 22, said Save the Children.

The five children, aged between nine and 10,  were playing in their village when they  accidentally triggered the explosive device. Four of them were students at a school supported by Save the Children, in the second and third grade. The three surviving children are currently in hospital in intensive care, with one in critical condition. 

At least 17 people in Yemen were killed or injured by unexploded ordnance (UXO) including landmines in January 2024, including several children, according to the Civilian Impact Monitoring Project (CIMP). Data is still being collected for February, so the total number of casualties for 2024 is likely to be an underestimate.

Decades of repeated armed conflict since the early 1960s have left behind a deadly legacy of explosive ordnance in Yemen, posing a constant threat to children's safety. In 2023, more than half of the 284 children killed and injured in Yemen were due to landmines and UXO.

Save the Children's report, "Watching Our Every Step," analysed data from 2018 to 2022 and found that one child was killed or injured on average every two days in Yemen by landmines or other explosive devices. The findings highlighted the devastating physical and emotional toll on children and their families following explosive incidents.

Mohamed Mannaa, Save the Children Interim Country Director in Yemen, said:

"This is a grim reminder of the unseen dangers that children in conflict zones face daily. It underscores the urgent need for comprehensive efforts to clear landmines and educate communities about the risks. Our thoughts are with the families of the victims. We are heartbroken but remain committed to protecting the most vulnerable members of our society."

To protect Yemen's children from landmines and other explosive ordnance, Save the Children is calling for armed groups to adhere to international humanitarian law and cease all use of landmines. Additionally, the child rights organisation is urging donors to support humanitarian actors by scaling up resourcing for mine risk education and mine action through fully funding the humanitarian response. These steps are imperative to mitigate the impact of this conflict on the most vulnerable and to ensure a safer future for all children in Yemen.

Save the Children is facilitating lifesaving support for two of the children in hospital while also providing psychosocial support to their families and caregivers.

Since 1963, Save the Children has been deeply committed to bettering the lives of children and families in Yemen through child protection, education, healthcare, food security, and water, hygiene and sanitation. With operations spanning nine out of Yemen's 23 governorates, Save the Children has one of the most extensive reaches among international NGOs in the country with the aim to empower vulnerable communities to build a brighter, safer future.


For further enquiries please contact media@savethechildren.org.uk / +44(0)7831 650409