NEW YORK - EUROPEAN COMMAND OF THE US WILL CONTINUE AID TO AZERBAIJAN IN MINE CLEARANCE
European command of the US armed forces (Eurocom) is ready to keep providing aid to Azerbaijan in clearing of territories from mines. General William E. Ward, head of the European command of the US, said that at a meeting with officials of ANAMA (Azerbaijani National Anti-Mine Agency) in Baku on September 21.
In turn, head of ANAMA, Nazim Ismailov, highly appreciated humanitarian activity of the European command of the US in Azerbaijan. Cooperation between ANAMA and Eurocom started in 2001, and was aimed at creation of a national potential for clearing of the territory from unexploded ammunition.
Since 2002, Eurocom held training courses for teaching of mine clearing, provision of primary medical assistance and management to the main staff of ANAMA. Along with this, Eurocom with support of the US Department of State, handed mechanical mine clearing machines over to Azerbaijan. Use of these machines accelerated mine clearing operations and increased safety of this work. Ninety-eight mine clearing specialists were trained in the framework of cooperation between ANAMA and Eurocom. Ismailov reported that after liberation of occupied territories the volume of work would grow significantly. Mine clearing of these territories will require at least 12 years.
General Ward pointed at a possibility of use of the Balkan mine clearing experience in Azerbaijan. At the meeting the guests asked about mine awareness of the population and about quantity of the people who exploded on mines. Hence, Ismailov said that forty-nine people died from or were wounded by unexploded ammunition. Only seven such cases were registered since the beginning of 2006.
Translated by Pavel Pushkin
Turan news agency (Baku), September 21, 2006
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Von: 25.09.2006, WPS: Defense & Security