New York [US], November 11 (ANI): A UN-backed civil society report has revealed that global casualties from anti-personnel landmines were "exceptionally high" last year, with Syrians and Afghans worst-hit.
The number of victims rose by 20 per cent in 2020 compared with the previous 12 months, the result of "increased armed conflict and contamination" of land with improvised mines, according to Landmine Monitor 2021.
More than 7,000 people were killed or injured in 54 countries and areas, while Myanmar was the only state where it was confirmed that the weapons have been used in the last 16 months - as they have been since reporting began in 1999, the report said.
There was also unconfirmed "sporadic" use of the weapons in a dozen other countries, including Cameroon, Egypt, Niger, the Philippines, Thailand, Tunisia and Venezuela, along with "strong indicators" of landmine use in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict in 2020, and in surrounding districts, UN News reported.
"Our problem was that we did not have information of what mines were there, if mines were laid during the active conflict, or if the mines were used after the imposed peace and ceasefire," said Landmine Monitor contributing editor, Mark Hiznay.
"The parties have not been forthcoming in terms of information provided...but it's clear there are some very strong pointers (that) someone used anti-personnel mines there." (ANI)