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Over 16,000 hectares of minefields to be cleared in Khuzestan: Iran's Defense Minister

SHALAMCHEH, Jan. 3 (Mehr News Agency) -- Some 16,238 hectares of minefields in Khuzestan will be cleared by March, Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar said on Wednesday.

"Due to President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's support and the satisfactory coordination between the Defense Ministry and private sector organizations, the process of clearing the minefields in the border provinces is underway at a good pace, Najjar said during a visit to the Shalamcheh border region of Khuzestan Province.

Many minefields left over from the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war have still not been cleared.

"Of a total of 4.2 million hectares of minefields in the country, 1.5 million hectares are located in Khuzestan Province," he added.

The country's center for clearing minefields, which is affiliated to the Defense Ministry, is implementing a five-year plan, according to which all minefields in Khuzestan will be completely cleared by September 2010, he said.

... Payvand News - 1/4/07 ... --

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