Saudi Navy ‘sweeping Yemen shores for Houthi mines’

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The Saudi Navy is constantly engaged in mine-sweeping on Yemeni shores, amid warnings over explosives planted by Houthi militias.

Maj. Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri, spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, told on Saturday that the sweeps of Yemen’s Red Sea coastline are routine.

“We have warned several times of the threat the Houthi-planted mines pose to the international maritime movements,” he said.

Several of the naval mines were found near the southwestern port city of Mokha aimed at targeting international shipping boats.

“Just a few days ago there was an incident where a fishing boat hit a mine off the Yemeni shores. Seven innocent fishermen were killed in this incident.

This signifies the threat of these mines which needs to be addressed,” Al-Assiri said.

Forces allied with the internationally-recognized government of Yemen seized control of the strategic Red Sea port near Mokha in January, waging an assault against Houthi militias.

The US Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) earlier this month warned of the risk of aquatic mines in the Bab Al-Mandab Strait, according to media reports.

A report issued by the ONI warned merchant ships of the dangers of mines set near the Mokha port entrance by Houthis and militias allied to ousted Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

ONI stated that the US Navy will employ all needed efforts to protect the freedom of ships in the strait, it was reported.

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