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Flag-of-AlgeriaThe Algerian People’s National Army (PNA) announced that it cleared and destroyed a total of 758,607 landmines along the country’s eastern and western borders within the past ten years.

Most of the landmines date to the 1956-1962 colonial period and war of independence against France. The first de-mining operations in Algeria took place in 1963 and ended in 1988 after an estimated 8 million landmines had been laid by the French army over a 2,500 km stretch. However, further de-mining operations were needed to remove landmines which were laid by both government and Islamist rebel forces during the 1992-1995 civil war.

According to the Algerian Press Service, the Algerian army’s Combat Engineers Corps has released updated information showing that 3,661 landmines were cleared from the 2nd, 3rd and 5th Military Regions in December 2014 alone.

Of the total 758,607 landmines cleared to date, 639,436 have been anti-personnel.

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