Azerbaijan, Baku / corr. Trend S.Agayeva / Demining has been carried out in an area of 2,306,879 sq m in Azerbaijan in May 2007. During this period, 46,024 mines and unexploded ammunition (PHS), have been discovered and rendered harmless, the Azerbaijani National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) informs.
Twenty-two dogs, 156 workers, 15 PHS operators, 8 first aid doctors and nearly 100 auxiliary employees have been involved in the clean-up programme.
During this period, an area of 50,189,370 sq m has been cleaned up in Azerbaijan. Approximately 262,589 mines and PHS have been discovered. Since September 2001 some 53 people have been killed and 122 injured as a result of 86 mine explosions.
The conflict between the two countries of the South Caucasus arose in 1988 due to the territorial claims of Armenia against Azerbaijan. Armenia has occupied 20% of the Azerbaijani land including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven Districts of the country surrounding it. Since 1992 to present time, these territories have been under the occupation of the Armenian Forces. In 1994 Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a cease-fire agreement, at which time active hostilities ended. The Co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France and USA) hold peaceful negotiations.