UN blue helmets help advance de-mining effort in southern Lebanon

25 September 2009
UN demining vehicle

Some 7,500 square metres of land in southern Lebanon that was cleared of mines by United Nations peacekeepers were returned this week to farmers and landowners in the town of Hiniyyeh, the world body reported.

The de-mining was carried out by the Italian battalion of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), according UN spokesperson Michele Montas.

UNIFIL, established in 1978, is tasked with ensuring that the area between the Blue Line and the Litani River is free of unauthorized weapons, personnel and assets, and it also cooperates with the Lebanese armed forces so they can fulfil their security responsibilities.

It also carries out some humanitarian de-mining activities to assist the civilian population, under the coordination of the Lebanon Mine Action Centre.

As a part of this coordinated effort, UNIFIL de-mining teams have to date cleared more than 4.7 million square metres of affected land and destroyed more than 32,000 unexploded ordnances and mines in southern Lebanon.


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