Britain to start clearing land mines on Falklands

GENEVA (AP) -- Britain says it will start to clear the land mines left on the Falkland Islands since its 1982 war with Argentina.

Ambassador John Duncan says Britain has committed to other countries in the international mine ban treaty that it will begin clearing the estimated 16,000 mines next year.

Duncan says Britain would make annual reports to the U.N. conference overseeing the anti-mine treaty on progress made. He says the country has a 10-year deadline to clear all the mines.

The mines were planted by Argentina which invaded the Falkland Islands in 1982, then lost a brief war with British forces. Britain also laid mines on the islands, but those were subsequently removed.

The status of the Falklands remains hotly disputed by Argentina, which maintains its claim to sovereignty over the South Atlantic territory.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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