Syrians work to clear antipersonnel mines near Turkey

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Syrian forces have placed hundreds of antipersonnel mines near the borders of Lebanon and Turkey in the recent months, causing causalities to anyone who tries to cross the border in attempt to seek some form of refuge from the war in Syria.

Mazen Hajisa and other volunteers have found a way to remove these deadly traps and have dug up more than 300 similar devices over the past two months, CNN said.

According to Human Rights Watch, antipersonnel mines are militarily weapons that mostly kill and injure civilians. The 1997 Mine Ban Treaty comprehensively prohibits the use, production, trade, and stockpiling of antipersonnel mines- 159 countries have joined the treaty, the Huffington Post said.

The devices are constructed in a green molded plastic case and are about the size of a soup bowl, CNN said. They also have a raised black cross on the top, Hajisa pointed out to CNN.

"If you put pressure on this trigger," Haijsa said, "It will explode," CNN quoted.

The land mines seem to be hidden along the boarder in an effort to close the widely-traveled smugglers' trails that go along the Middle Eastern frontier, CNN said.

Usually, experts wear armor and use specialized equipment to remove the land mines, but Hajisa discovered that the mines only detonate when pressure is applied to the top. He now uses a foot-long metal kebab skewer to dig up the mines, CNN said.

Due to increasing tensions between the northern border between Syria and Jordan, the country's land mine clearance program could be delayed- resulting in the civilians such as Hajisa to take the responsibility upon themselves.

Hajisa believes that this is his duty, CNN said.

"If I don't do this, how will the refugees escape from the regime?" Hajisa said. "They face two choices, either be killed by snipers and tanks, or be killed by land mines. The refugees must have a safe place to escape to," CNN quoted.

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This page contains a single entry by binsf007 published on March 31, 2012 10:44 AM.

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