The Russian mine-clearing group in Palmyra finds a total 108 mines in 4 hectares.
Russian sappers have managed to demine a total 108 explosive devices in just 4 hectares of the historical part of Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra, the Russian Defense Ministry said Monday
“The specialists from the Russian mine-clearing group have started demining the infrastructure in Palmyra. In the past 24 hours, the Russian sappers have cleared four hectares in the historical part of the city, destroying 108 explosive devices,” the ministry said in a daily bulletin posted on its website.
Russian combat engineers arrived in Syria on a mine-clearing mission in the ancient town of Palmyra after it was recaptured from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) this week.
On Thursday, the Defence Ministry said sapper units were airlifted to Syria with equipment including state-of-the-art robotic devices to defuse mines at the 2,000-year-old archaeological site.
Russian television stations showed Il-76 transport planes with the engineers landing before dawn at the Russian air base in Syria.
Lieutenant General Sergei Rudskoi of the military’s General Staff emphasised the Russian jets used precision weapons to avoid any damage to Palmyra’s archaeological treasures.
He said Russian sapper teams will now have to search more than 180 hectares (445 acres) of both historic and residential areas in Palmyra for mines.
He added that the job is even more difficult because, along with standard military mines, the area is littered with a large number of booby traps and other explosive devices.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu on Thursday urged other nations to join the effort of clearing Palmyra from mines.