The death toll resulting from the explosions of landmines planted in the southern province of Abyan by al-Qaeda-linked militants has risen to 73, said a military official on Sunday.
Before the militants were driven out from their key strongholds in Abyan two weeks ago, the militant laid thousands of landmines aiming to ambush and retaliate from the armed and security forces that and forced them to flee their posts.
A Ministry of Defense website quoted Colonel Saeed Ali Mushal, the head of an engineering military unit tasked with clearing the mines from Abyan, as saying that the technicians managed to clear 3119 landmines from the towns of Zinjubar, the provincial capital, Ja'ar and Shuqra.
Mushal revealed that at least 73 people were killed in landmines explosions, of whom 23 were military personnel including two high-ranking officers from the engineering teams.
Previous statement had stated that at least 35 people were killed in landmines blasts in ten days.
Explosions of landmines are being heard every day in Zinjubar with an average of three to four mines going off daily. These blasts leave some people killed and others wounded, according to Mushal.
Mushal noted that the mines laid in Abyan were locally-made, pointing out that the militants used motorcycles' batteries, gas cylinders, tanks' and artillery's shells,..etc, in making them.
For his part, Colonel al-Kadhari Mohammed al-Tali, the Deputy Chief of the Engineering Division in the Southern Military Area, told the state-run 26 news website that six mines detection teams, a demining team, and two teams to disarm the unexploded shells and missiles, in addition to four military engineering teams, have been sent to Abyan to deal with mines and explosives.