U.S. to Request International Funding to Defuse Land Mines

Associated Press

The Clinton Administration will lead a worldwide fund-raising effort to get rid of land mines that kill or maim an estimated an 1,200 civilians each month.

Mines built to injure or kill humans cost as little as $3 to make and as much as $1,000 to find and defuse, and tens of millions of them are hidden around the world, witnesses told a Senate panel Friday.

"Land mines pose a significant impediment to achieving our foreign policy objectives in many regions of the world," said Thomas E. McNamara, deputy assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, at a hearing billed as the first congressional inquiry into the problems.

McNamara said land mines prolong the bloodshed of conflicts, hinder refugee repatriation efforts and pollute land that might otherwise be productive.

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