(Reuters) – Thirty-eight more Colombian municipalities are considered free of landmines and unexploded ordinance, President Ivan Duque said on Tuesday, as civilian and military efforts to remove improvised explosives continue despite ongoing conflict in some areas.
Colombia was once among the countries where people suffered the most injuries from landmines, one result of more than five decades of armed conflict between leftist guerrillas, crime gangs, right-wing paramilitary groups and the government.
More than 700 of Colombia’s 1,122 municipalities once had landmines, but 391 of those are now certified as mine-free.
“Today we make history because we are freeing 38 municipalities from suspicion of mines,” Duque told attendees at a ceremony in the Andean country’s southwest. “Thirty-eight municipalities have said goodbye to this tragedy; they have the light of new hope.”
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