Explosions of old landmines claim lives and cause injuries across Syria

Sign warning of mines in front of a filed Sign warning of mines in front of a filed Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash

14 March 2021

Eight new deaths and two injuries have been recorded across Syria due to explosions of old landmines.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) has recorded the deaths of eight people and two injuries following explosions of old landmines in Hama, Al-Raqqah and Deir Ezzor. Since January 2019, SOHR has documented the deaths of 478 people, including 151 children, caused by mines, IED explosions and the collapse of cracked residential buildings.

According to SOHR, five people have died after an old landmine exploded in the Wadi Al-Azeeb area in eastern Hama. Furthermore, a man and his son were injured when another  exploded in Al-Jalaa district in eastern Deir Ezzor.

SOHR recorded another death on 13 March 2021 following the explosion of an old landmine on agricultural land in Al-Magheer village in the northern countryside of Hama. In addition, two children died due to a shell that exploded while they were tampering with it in the western countryside of Tel Abyad in northern Al-Raqqah. The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) has reported that children who are likely to pick up items and agricultural workers who dig up the land are particularly vulnerable to the threat of explosive ordnance.

These incidents follow the pattern of old explosive ordnance that are causing deaths and injuries across Syria. While UNMAS has identified 429 contaminated areas since 2017 and delivered ordnance risk education sessions to more than 1.1 million people in the first half of 2020, it has noted that explosive ordnance continue to put the lives of millions of people at risk. UNMAS has called for increased access for humanitarian mine action, comprehensive survey and marking of hazardous areas, and funding to ensure risk education, victim assistance, survey and clearance.

 

To know more, please read:

https://www.syriahr.com/en/208905/

https://www.unmas.org/en/programmes/syria

 

Author: Irina Kovacevic; Editor: Catherine Meunier

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