An international rights group has criticized the use of land mines by Yemen's Shiite rebels, saying they have resulted in many civilian casualties.

In a Thursday report, Human Rights Watch accuses the Houthi rebels of "cold-hearted cruelty toward civilians" over their use of land mines in the city of Taiz, which has been besieged by the Houthis.

The group quotes a Taiz-based organization as saying that 18 people have been killed and 39 wounded by land mines in the city since May 2015, shortly after a Saudi-led coalition began bombing Houthi positions.

Steve Goose, arms director at Human Rights Watch, says "Yemen's warring parties should immediately stop laying mines, destroy mines in their possession and ensure that demining teams can work unimpeded so that families can safely return home."