40-50 years needed to clear weapons in Iraq and Syria

Published On: April 5, 2017 07:07 AM NPT By: Associated Press

The United Nations says it will take 40 to 50 years to clear the mines, improvised explosive devices and other unexploded ordnance from Iraq and Syria.

Agnes Marcaillou, director of the United Nations Mine Action Service, said "we are looking at decades of work for these countries to look like post-World War II Europe where we still find some unexploded ordnance here and there."

She told a news conference Tuesday marking International Mine Awareness Day that her office is looking at a "ballpark figure" of between $170 million to $180 million a year to clean up the areas retaken from the Islamic State extremist group in Iraq.

Marcaillou said that figure includes $50 million annually needed just to make safe Mosul, which is still partly held by Islamic State extremists.

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