Floodwaters uproot landmines in Batticaloa
[TamilNet, Sunday, 19 December 2004, 18:48 GMT]
Anti-personnel landmines made of plastic weighing around 100 -150g were observed floating in some areas close to SLA camps in Sithandy, Morakkoddanchenai and Pullumalai in the flood ravaged Batticaloa district, civil sources said. Some animals were killed or injured by landmine explosions during the last few days.
There were no civilian injuries caused by landmine accidents during the recent flooding in the Batticaloa district.
Around nine landmines that were washed away by floodwaters from the original minefields were detected and disabled Saturday by deminers in Batticaloa, sources added.
The British demining agency Mine Action Group (MAG) and the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) in Batticalo have cautioned the public in Batticalo District to be aware of the potential dangers caused by uprooted anti-personnel landmines that have been washed downstream in heavy rains in the district.
About 37 villages in the Batticaloa district were identified as in need of demining in 2003.