Thursday, April 17, 2003

In preparation for the interview I'm doing this morning for the Sunday Express, I read over the fact sheets I've been sent by the Mines Advisory Group (of whom much, much more to come.) I was drawn to one paragraph:

Following the PUK advance on Government of Iraq territory in the Kirkuk region, MAG sent Emergency Survey teams into the area to evaluate the mine situation. They found that:
* Extremely large and densely-laid minefields have been placed by Iraqi forces along and between main routes, and around their now abandoned military positions
* Limited clearance has been undertaken by Kurdish forces to enable them to advance on Iraqi positions. However this clearance has not reduced the level of threat to civilian populations and relief agencies as it was aimed at facilitating the military advance.
* MAG has identified the following mines: Valmara 69 (anti-personnel bounding fragmentation mine), PMN (anti-personnel blast mine) and VS 1.6 (anti-tank mine). These have been laid extensively to protect Iraqi front lines, across nearly all roads and access routes, and around key strategic points including many buildings and villages. which the voice in my head screamed "that'll teach you! Don't say you weren't warned." Yes, little voice, but I didn't read that a fortnight ago, did I?

Discuss Northern Iraq -- and Beyond


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