Anti-personnel mine explosions leave 3 dead, 3 injured in Colombia

Other News Materials 6 February 2008 22:19 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa )- Three people died and three others were injured in minefield explosions in Colombia, the authorities said Wednesday in Colombia.

The first incident occurred in Puerto Libertador , in the northern province of Cordoba, where two peasants who were working on the manual eradication of coca fields died after stepping on an anti- personnel mine. Two others were injured.

Peasants engaged in coca eradication in the area have army backing. The authorities presume that rebels active in the area planted landmines to protect their illegal crops.

In a separate incident, one soldier died and another was injured in a minefield in Garzon , in the south-western Colombian province of Huila .

Colombian authorities have admitted that the country is unlikely to fulfil its commitment to eradicate all anti-personnel landmines from its territory by 2011, in accordance with the Ottawa Treaty. Rebel groups in the troubled South American nation continue to plant mines.

In 2007 alone, 879 people were victims of landmines in Colombia, according to official statistics. The figures indicate that 190 people died, and 689 were injured.