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UN issues landmine hazard warning

UNFICYP said on Friday that wet weather conditions had caused some displacement of landmines in and along the buffer zone.

The area of the buffer zone around Mammari remains a particular risk zone, it said in a statement.

“Mines present a danger to persons travelling by foot and by vehicle and members of the public should be aware that not all minefields along the buffer zone are fenced completely or marked with mine signs,” UNFICYP said.

It said the force was monitoring areas where mines had shifted out of a known minefield due to bad weather, and was working swiftly to reduce the threat by fencing off the affected areas.

However it said. members of the public should exercise extreme caution near the ceasefire lines of both sides and if they come across any of the markers illustrated in the image they should leave the area immediately.

“Members of the public are requested to respect mine signs in the buffer zone and to comply with UNFICYP’s instructions. They can report suspicious objects seen in the buffer zone immediately on the contact numbers listed below. “Please do not approach or touch suspicious objects,” UNFICYP said.

Also, as part of routine safety procedures inside the buffer zone, members of the public are advised to ensure that they have up-to-date permits for their activities.

“They are further reminded that hunting and other unauthorised activities in the buffer zone are prohibited. Armed hunters are at risk of drawing fire from either of the opposing forces, and hunters wearing camouflage apparel and carrying guns can be easily mistaken for soldiers,” the statement said.

Firing guns in the area between the ceasefire lines increases tension because soldiers on duty cannot immediately determine where the shots have come from and may feel obliged to react.

This poses a hazard to fellow hunters, members of local communities, and UNFICYP patrols in the area, the force added.

 

UNFICYP contact telephone numbers: Once you are connected to the Mission Directory, please dial ‘0’ to speak with the Operations Centre.

From south: 22 614000

From north by landline: 601 4000

From north by mobile: 0392 601 4000

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