Global death toll of landmines rises in 2018 due to mines laid by militants

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(Reuters) – The global casualty toll of landmines doubled in 2018 from a 2013 low due to conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria and Mali and mostly due to the increased use of improvised landmines set by militant groups such as Islamic State. Additionally, Iraq is the world’s most contaminated country with landmines, partly due to the mines laid by Islamic State to defend the territory it once controlled over Iraq and Syria.

Landmines killed or injured some 6,897 people in 2018, according to the Landmine Monitor report by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. Some 71% of the casualties were civilians, and of these, over half were children, it said. In 2018, most casualties were due to improvised explosive devices (IEDs) laid by non-state groups, the report added. 

The lowest globally recorded number was set at 3,457 casualties in 2013.

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