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Libyan volunteers remove landmines in civilian areas

08-04-2011 14:41 BJT

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In Libya, forces loyal to Gaddafi are increasingly using landmines to slow down the rebel advance. CCTV correspondent Jack Barton spent a day with Libyan volunteers who find and remove the deadly devices left behind in civilian areas.

With only sticks and casual clothes these Libyan men from Misrata search for landmines. The head of the team is Mohamed Turjman, a former Libyan army explosives technician. He double-checks the few square meters around a mine that blew the wheel of a car.

Mohamed Turjman, volunteer de-miner, said, “There were 30 mines planted here”. This volunteer demining team has found about 300 mines in this area, left behind by forces loyal to Colonel Gaddafi.

With only sticks and casual clothes these Libyan men from Misrata search for landmines.

The mines are plastic so metal detectors are useless. Mr. Turjman demonstrates the way the de-miners move forward. Mohamed Turjman said, “This is a dangerous operation and with every step death lies ahead or a dangerous injury”.

A mine is located and removed from the earth. It's destroyed by brick that is dropped onto the mine by tugging on a piece of string. Other mines are brought here, to a storage room outside the city.

There are more than 1000 landmines in these boxes that the team has retrieved in the past six weeks. Back in the field the search goes on. For these volunteers with no prior experience or protective clothing it’s nerve wracking work.

Baduradin Turjman said, “We were surprised when we saw the quantity of these mines, a scary amount. And now we have a call from another area in Misrata. That means there's a lot of areas planted with mines”.

As bad as the landmine situation is in Misrata other parts of the country are worse. Rebel forces are already running into landmines in the town of Zlitan, about 40 kilometers away along the road to Tripoli.

And in the eastern oil town of Brega, tens of thousands of landmines planted by government soldiers have already claimed more than 100 lives. So the task of clearing these mines has only just begun.

This section of road has now almost been cleared but the olive groves beside it are still of limits, as will be many other parts of Libya for many years to come.

There were 30 mines planted here. This volunteer demining team has found about 300 mines in this area, left behind by forces loyal to Colonel Gaddafi.

There are more than 1000 landmines in these boxes that the team has retrieved in the past six weeks.

 

Editor:Zhang Dan |Source: CNTV.CN

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