UN Troops Clear a Third of South Lebanon of Mines
United Nations specialist troops have cleared of mines almost one third of the area of southern Lebanon formerly occupied by Israel, defusing 1,520 explosive devices, a spokesman said Tuesday.
UN Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) spokesmam Timour Goksel told AFP that Finnish, Swedish and Ukrainian sappers had cleared 251.64 square kilometers (100.65 square miles) of the 850 square kilometer area held by Israel for 22 years.
They had defused 1,255 anti-personnel mines, 10 anti-tank mines and 255 unexploded shells in the region, which Israeli forces abandoned in May.
Goksel said the sappers were working both off maps of minefields supplied by the Israelis and information from various other sources.
The UN estimates that Israel left at least 130,000 mines in southern Lebanon, but that Lebanese armed groups fighting the Israeli presence also planted their own mines or bombs.
Since the Israelis withdrew 11 Lebanese civilians have been killed and 53 wounded after triggering mines -- TYR (AFP)
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