New Zealand Experts to Help Clear Unexploded Munitions

A team of New Zealand Defense Force bomb disposal experts left for Lebanon Friday to help clear unexploded bombs, cluster bombs and missiles, a senior official said.


New Zealand is providing two 10-person teams to the U.N. Mine Action Coordination Center in southern Lebanon, Defense Minister Phil Goff said.

Each team, comprised of four disposal technicians and six surveyors, will be deployed for a six-month period.

Their job will be to locate, map and destroy unexploded bombs from last year's fighting between Israel and Hizbullah.

Goff said the contribution was to help the Lebanese people to rebuild their lives.

"The challenge facing the U.N. is significant," he said. "An estimated 900,000 unexploded cluster munitions remain buried in South Lebanon in addition to an estimated 400,000 mines and 15,000 other types of unexploded ordnance," Goff said in a statement.

New Zealand regularly contributes demining experts to U.N. operations, including in Cambodia, Laos and Mozambique.(AP)

Von: 10.02.2007,

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