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Azerbaijani's AzCBL talks mine clearance to facilitate infrastructure work on liberated lands

Society Materials 21 February 2023 16:21 (UTC +04:00)
Azerbaijani's AzCBL talks mine clearance to facilitate infrastructure work on liberated lands
Farid Zohrabov
Farid Zohrabov
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, February 21. Azerbaijan is among the top ten countries in the world in terms of mine contamination, Chairman of the Azerbaijan Campaign to Ban Landmines (AzCBL) Public Association Hafiz Safikhanov told Trend.

According to Safikhanov, the process of clearing the liberated territories from mines and unexploded ordnances continues.

"No matter how quickly the territories are cleared, this process will take decades. On the other hand, the accuracy of the maps of minefields provided by Armenia is only 20-25 percent. Mines and unexploded ordnances were planted on every inch of our liberated lands,” he said. “During the first Karabakh war, mines were also laid in these territories. Following the latest statistics, cases of mine explosions are recorded mainly on the liberated lands instead of the former line of contact.”

“People working on these lands or going there must be very careful and follow the instructions. The Armenians planted mines wherever a human foot could set foot. We do not know how many mines are located in the liberated territories, where they are installed close to each other, and where they are apart,” the chairman noted.

According to Safikhanov, the sappers show heroism [to clear the territories from mines and unexploded ordnances].

"Infrastructural work in the demining sites rapidly continues. It’s usually impossible to carry out any work in places not cleared of mines. About 8,000 square kilometers of the liberated territories must be cleared of mines and unexploded ordnances," he added.

According to the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA), 42 anti-tank mines and 118 unexploded ordnances were found and defused in Tartar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Shusha, Gubadli, Lachin, Jabrayil and Zangilan, as part of the de-mining process, and a total area of 250 hectares was cleared of mines and unexploded ordnances from February 6 through February 11, 2023.

The AzCBL is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that researched and wrote the Azerbaijan country report for the Landmine and Cluster Munitions Monitor Report each year, from 1999 to 2011.

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