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Deadly Landmines still cost lives in Iraq’s Basra province

Landmine (representational photo)

Basra (IraqiNews.com) Thirty-year-old landmines littering Iraq’s southern Basra province are still harvesting lives, according to a parliament representative from the province.

Iraqi Al-Maalomah website quoted Zahra al-Bagari saying that landmines explosions left 20 people dead throughout 2018.

She said more than 1.300 billion square meters of land in the province are still contaminated with radiative items and military ordinance from past wars.

Bagari added that local organizations are so bankrupt that they failed to receive a Japanese minesweeper to remove the explosives. She urged the Iraqi government to help with finances to receive the machine,

The United Nations said in February it had cleared more than 45.000 explosive ordnance from all over Iraq, and that the continuation of purging efforts could need at least a decade.

Besides explosives left over from older wars, Iraq’s war against Islamic State since 2014 left Iraqi soil contaminated with thousands of tons of unexploded ordnance and booby-traps. Leftover explosives have occasionally exploded, killing several civilians since Iraqi authorities declared victory over the extremist group last year.

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