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Casualties Surge From Land Mines and Improvised Explosives

The report by the group, which won a Nobel Peace Prize for its work on the land mine treaty, was released in advance of a meeting of treaty members in Vienna next week.

In an improvement over 2015, the group said international donations for mine clearance and victim assistance rose sharply in 2016. Thirty-two donors contributed $ 479.5 million, an increase of $ 85.5 million from the year before.

The treaty forbids the use of mines and other explosive devices placed on or under the ground, designed to detonate when a person accidentally steps on them.

Such weapons can be deadly for many years, long after a conflict has ended. Roughly four out of five victims are civilians.

The treaty also prohibits production, stockpiling and transfer of land mines. It has been signed by 163 countries — Sri Lanka was the latest, having officially joined on Wednesday.

Disarmament advocates widely regard the treaty as a success. But 34 countries remain outside the treaty, including China, Russia and the United States.

The United States has stated that it will observe the “key requirements” of the treaty except on the Korean Peninsula, where the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea is heavily mined.

Algeria and Mozambique, which were once heavily mined, declared themselves free of land mines this past year, the Landmine Monitor said. Both are treaty members.

Government forces in Myanmar and Syria — neither of them treaty members — were the only ones known to have planted land mines during the past year, the Landmine Monitor said.

Nonstate militants, it said, planted land mines in at least nine countries: Afghanistan, India, Iraq, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen.

Source: NYT > World

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