Boy saves his friends from a booby-trap in Abyan

The Danish Demining Group's (DDG) Mine Risk Education (MRE) can have a significant impact on the safety of individuals living in conflict affected environments. One recent incident to demonstrate this occurred last November in Yemen, when Ahmed from Mudiya district in Abyan, saved the lives of his friends when he warned them against touching a strange item that they found on the side of the road behind a mosque.
 
 

20.02.15

Story & photo by: Aref Habeeb, DDG's Field Coordinator

 

"I remembered what I was taught by the MRE trainer and asked my friends not to touch the strange material" - Ahmed, 13-year-old boy living in Abyan.

Ahmed's first reaction was, “Guys! Don’t touch or approach it. Let us inform someone older.”

Ahmed is a beneficiary of the child and youth-oriented MRE training session that took place on 24th June 2014 in Al-Miqbaba village, given by DDG's MRE-team. "I remembered what I was taught by the MRE trainer and asked my friends not to touch the strange material", Ahmed said. He and his friends then ran to the Imam of the nearby mosque to report what they had seen on the ground. The Imam, in turn, reported the matter to authorities, who then sent an explosive expert. “Mosque Imam was the nearest one to us at that time. We were very happy no one was hurt”, says Ahmed.

The explosive experts reported that the item turned out to be a booby trap, in the form of a grenade tied by tape and put inside a can full of petrol. The explosive experts took the item far from the location and destroyed it and Ahmed was thanked for his exemplary action in a situation that could have had a tragic ending.

Mudiya is one of Abyan governorate districts in Yemen, with a population of approximately 40 000 inhabitants. Most of Mudiya district villages, including the city, have experienced heavy fighting between the Popular Committees and Al-Qaida of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in 2012, affecting the livelihoods of local people. Since October 2013, DDG/DRC has been providing high quality MRE to more than 12,000 people in the area - 68% of them being children and 32% adult.