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Mine explodes after being unearthed by Bosnia floods

Landmine laid during 1990s in Brcko goes off, adding to fears over buried munitions being displaced by floodwaters

21.05.2014
Mine explodes after being unearthed by Bosnia floods

BRCKO, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Concerns that mines in Bosnia displaced by flooding could pose a threat to people have been heightened after one exploded in Brcko.

The mine, which was buried during the 1990s, went off after landslides and floodwaters caused it to resurface in the northern region, said Bosnian mine clearance agency BH MAC.

No casualties were reported, but in a written statement on Wednesday the agency warned people to immediately inform security officials if they saw any similar objects in regions affected by landslides.

The unearthing of mines is proving a major concern to Bosnian authorities after the worst floods in 120 years hit the country and Serbia, leaving at least 43 people dead, forcing tens of thousands to evacuate their homes and leaving entire towns cut off.

Buildings destroyed

About 220,000 mines are estimated to have been laid in nearly 13,000 regions during the war between 1992 and 1995.

More than 1,000 people, including many children, have so far been killed by the devices. 

Officials also said a team of Belgian experts using drones would take aerial photos of the Doboy and Maglaj regions in order to create maps of mined areas.

More than one million people in Bosnia have no access to clean water, more than 100,000 buildings have been destroyed and repairs are expected to cost billions of US dollars.

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