April 4, 2006 Tuesday 11:27 AM MSK
Over 3,000 killed or maimed by mines in Chechnya
MOSCOW April 4, (Interfax) - More than 3,000 people have been killed or maimed by landmines in Chechnya over the past eleven years, meaning a life was lost or destroyed irreparably everyday, a joint release by UNICEF and the European Commission's representative offices in Russia says.
Six hundred and ninety people, among them 132 children, have been killed by mines during this time. However, the figures has tailed off during the past few years.
April 4 marks the world's first International Day for Mine Awareness.
The release says that many of the young people injured in mine blasts lose the ability to study and cannot afford rehabilitation or medical treatment.
UNICEF, with financial backing from donors including the European Commission, has developed a landmine awareness program for Russia, which has been agreed upon with the Chechen authorities.
The European Union has provided over 1 billion euro to enhance mine awareness throughout the world since 1997.