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International Report: Worldwide Use of Landmines Falls in 2005


The International Campaign to Ban Landmines says the worldwide use of anti-personnel land mines has decreased in 2005. In its annual report released Tuesday the group of non-governmental organizations says the number of casualties from mines has also dropped.

The campaign says non-state armed groups, not governments, are now the most likely users of anti-personnel land mines. It says rebel use of mines was especially widespread in Colombia, Burma and Nepal.

The campaign also says Burma, Nepal and Russia deserve strong condemnation as the only governments to lay anti-personnel mines in 2005.

Egypt and Iraq were removed from the list of producers of land mines. The group says it found no confirmed cases of transfers of landmines in the last year.

Since last year, four countries have joined the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, including Ethiopia. The treaty prohibits the use, storage and transfer of mines.

Countries still with the largest mine-affected areas include Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

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