land mines

19 Stories

Nation Plagued With Land Mines Detonates Last One

It took 22 years of work to make Mozambique safe

(Newser) - Albert Augusto must be the happiest unemployed man in the world. He was the director of Mozambique's National Demining Institute until his job became obsolete this week with the detonation of the last known land mine in what used to be one of the most heavily mined countries in... More »

South Korea: North Crept Across Border, Planted Mines

South swears 'severe retaliation' after 2 soldiers lose legs

(Newser) - Two South Korean soldiers maimed near the border with North Korea last Tuesday were victims of a North Korean attack, officials say. The South Korean Defense Ministry claims North Korean soldiers crept across the 2.5-mile-wide Demilitarized Zone to plant mines outside the South's guard post near Paju, reports... More »

Rebels Planting Mines at MH17 Site: Ukraine

Fighting between rebels, government forces kill 19

(Newser) - Pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine have laid mines near the Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 crash site, making the "work of the international experts impossible," says government security spokesman Andriy Lysenko. Dutch crash investigators were again thwarted in their fourth day of frustration in trying to reach the site. Organization... More »

Honeybees Trained to Find Land Mines

Move over, dogs and rats

(Newser) - Honeybees are better known for producing delicious condiments than saving lives, but all that could change thanks to a team of Croatian researchers, who are training them to find unexploded land mines. Bees have an excellent sense of smell, which they use to find food, so the researchers are reprogramming... More »

Bus Collision Kills 51 in Afghanistan

Plus: 6 civilians killed by mine

(Newser) - A bus and truck collided and burst into flames in eastern Afghanistan today, killing at least 51 people. The collision occurred in Ghazni province on a highway that links the Afghan capital of Kabul with Kandahar, the largest city in the south. At least 51 of the 56 passengers on... More »

Syria Studding Refugee Routes With Mines

Human Rights Watch cites eyewitness near Turkey, Lebanon

(Newser) - Earlier reports accused Syria of planting landmines along its Lebanese border, and according to witnesses, the practice shows no sign of waning. Mines are being placed along the routes refugees typically use to flee into neighboring Lebanon and Turkey, Human Rights Watch said today, citing eyewitness reports. One former... More »

As People Try to Flee, Syria Plants Mines Along Border

Exodus to Lebanon an embarrassment for Bashar Assad, notes AP

(Newser) - Syria is burying landmines along its border with Lebanon in what one official says is an effort to deter arms trafficking—but which the AP notes comes amidst an exodus of refugees fleeing the country to avoid the regime's violent crackdown on dissent. "Syria has undertaken many measures... More »

Elephant Wounded by Land Mine

Pa Hae Po is being treated in Thailand

(Newser) - Bad: A 22-year-old male elephant stepped on a land mine in Myanmar and mangled its left foot, reports AP . Worse: He joins three other elephants being treated for the same thing at a facility in Thailand. The Friends of the Asian Elephant group has named the new patient Pa Hae... More »

Gadhafi Plants Mines as Libya Rebels Flee

Gadhafi's forces continue to force Libyan rebels' retreat

(Newser) - Moammar Gadhafi’s forces have taken their fight against the Libyan rebels to the next level, sowing land mines around the city of Ajdabiya. The mines include both anti-personnel mines, which much of the world banned in the 1997 Mines Ban Treaty, and anti-tank mines; Gadhafi’s troops likely planted... More »

Curry Spice 'Can Spot Explosives'

Turmeric chemical used to detect TNT

(Newser) - An ingredient commonly found in curry powder could make the world a safer place as well as a spicier one, researchers say. Circumin, the main chemical in the spice turmeric, can be used to create a cheap way of spotting explosives, according to research presented to the American Physical Society.... More »

Jesus' Baptism Site Ringed With Mines

Advocacy groups worried about expected onslaught of pilgrims

(Newser) - Christianity's third most holy site, the place where John is said to have baptized Jesus, is set to be opened to the public in the near future—but at the present moment, it's surrounded by thousands of land mines. Israel says the site, which is expected to attract millions of... More »

2 US Soldiers Killed in Philippines

Land mine triggers first US casualties in the nation since 2002

(Newser) - Two American soldiers and a Filipino marine were killed when their vehicle rolled over a land mine in the southern Philippines today. The men were fetching supplies for a school when their vehicle was hit, officials say.  The American soldiers, part of a 300-strong force helping the Filipino army... More »

Elephant Getting Prosthetic Leg

(Newser) - A 48-year-old Thai elephant who stepped on a landmine 10 years ago got fitted for permanent artificial leg today, the AP reports. Motola, who's become a cause celebré for the plight of elephants worldwide, got measured for the new limb at an elephant hospital in Thailand. Until now she’s... More »

Cambodia Bans 'Miss Landmine' Beauty Pageant

Government sees insult; organizers aimed to promote awareness

(Newser) - The Cambodian government said today it will not allow a "Miss Landmine" beauty pageant to take place later this week, calling it an insult to the disabled. "The land mine beauty contest would make a mockery of Cambodia's land mine victims," a government spokesman said. "The... More »

Man's New Best Friend: Rats Ferret Out Land Mines, TB

(Newser) - Move over, Rover: Man has a new best friend that is helping to combat two scourges plaguing the developing world. Rats, normally reviled as filthy vermin, are sniffing out land mines and detecting tuberculosis bacteria. "Rats are usually considered pests or enemies of humanity,” said one Mozambican handler,... More »

Scars of War Remain for Laotian Farmers

Land littered with bombs makes subsistence farming a more dire proposition

(Newser) - As if surviving as a farmer in the developing world wasn't hard enough, for those in Laos there is an extra—often deadly—complication. The US littered the Southeast Asian nation with 2 million tons of explosives during the Vietnam War, one-third of which remain precariously unexploded, and responsible for... More »

Cindy McCain's Soft Talk Masks Deep Resolve

GOP candidate's wife is quiet on trail, crusader off it

(Newser) - Cindy McCain is reserved on the campaign trail—a marked contrast to the sometimes-pugilistic style of husband John—but outside the public eye she has been a “one-woman philanthropic operation,” reports the Chicago Tribune in a profile. The would-be first lady has brought medical relief missions to Rwanda... More »

WWII Mines Block Egypt's Access to Oil

4.8B barrels of crude lie under 22M mines, shells in desert

(Newser) - Millions of land mines and unexploded artillery shells left over from World War II are hampering Egypt's efforts to get at a treasure trove of oil and gas beneath the desert, der Spiegel reports. The ordnance is an unwelcome reminder of the North African conflict between Brits and Erwin Rommel’... More »

Afghan Refugees Flooding Home, Some Forced From Camps

Mass repatriation may be new disaster

(Newser) - Afghan refugees are returning to their post-Taliban nation by the hundreds of thousands, and there are few resources to support them. Much of the repatriation is voluntary, the BBC reports, with newfound stability attracting Afghanis who fled as long as 25 years ago; others have been forced out of Pakistani... More »

19 Stories