© 2012 Human Rights Watch. This Soviet/Russian-made PMN-2 antipersonnel blast mine removed from the ground in Syria near its border with Turkey contains 100 grams of TG-40 explosive and cannot be disarmed once emplaced. According to Jane’s Information Group, this type of mine has also been found in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Chechnya, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Honduras, Lebanon, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Tajikistan, Thailand, and Yemen.
“These indiscriminate weapons are far more likely to maim or kill a civilian than a combatant, which is why they’ve been internationally banned. Antipersonnel landmines must not be used by anyone, at any time, regardless of the situation,” said Kasia Derlicka, Director of the ICBL.
Since the armed conflict in Syria started, mines have been newly laid on Syria’s borders with neighboring countries.
Just this week three Syrians were seriously injured when a landmine exploded on the border with Lebanon. Earlier this year the ICBL condemned the use of landmines by Syrian government troops along the border with Turkey, and called on the international community to do the same.
“This is an incredibly worrying claim. The more these weapons are used, the more they will claim civilian victims and ruin more lives. We call on the Free Syrian Army – and all forces involved in the current conflict in Syria – to forbid their combatants from using these weapons and creating a situation that will result only in more suffering for the people of Syria,” Derlicka added.
The ICBL is currently working with partner organizations and others to encourage the opposition fighters to publicly renounce the use of antipersonnel mines, preventing further casualties.