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UN: Clearing Iraq’s Mosul From Explosives to Take Decades

Lisa Schlein writes for Voice of America:

The U.N. Mine Action Service (UNMAS) estimates it could take 10 years to clear Mosul, Iraq, of landmines and decades longer to free this former Islamic State stronghold of thousands of tons of other explosive hazards.

The nearly year-long battle by Iraqi forces to retake Mosul from Islamic State militants has left the city with a legacy of death and destruction. An estimated 800,000 people fled Mosul during the conflict.

Most would like to return to their homes. But officials with the U.N. Mine Action Service say the old city of Mosul has been flattened and they cannot return. They say no buildings are left standing and the city is heavily contaminated with landmines and explosive hazards.

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