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Yemen landmine kills 6 in defence minister's convoy

Yemen’s Defence Minister, Mohammed Al-Maqdashi
Yemen’s Defence Minister, Mohammed Al-Maqdashi, 8 November 2018

Six Yemeni soldiers were killed when a convoy carrying the country’s defence minister was hit by a landmine explosion today, but the minister was unharmed, Reuters reported government sources as saying.

Muhammad Ali Al-Maqdashi, defence minister for the internationally recognised government of Yemen, was visiting a frontline area of Sirwah. It is located west of the government-held city of Marib, and east of the capital Sanaa, controlled by the Houthi movement.

Six soldiers were killed and several others were wounded after the convoy hit explosives buried in the road, two government officials told Reuters.

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This is the second time Al-Maqdashi has survived an assassination attempt. In October last year, a drone attack targeted a meeting at Joint Operations Headquarters in Marib province, attended by the minister along with military commanders of the Saudi-led coalition. Al-Maqdashi’s driver and two bodyguards were killed in the blast.

Yemen has been mired in conflict since the Iran-aligned Houthis ousted the government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi from Sanaa in late 2014. A Saudi-led military coalition intervened in 2015 to restore Hadi.

Violence has flared along the front lines west of Marib city since mid-January when a blast hit a government military camp in Marib killing dozens of people.

Landmines have been extensively planted in many parts of Yemen during the conflict.

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