Russian engineers start mine clearance in Laos

On 15 October, a detachment of the International Mine Action Center of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation started its demining mission in the village of Lak Sao, Bolikhamsay province, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

Russian engineers start mine clearance in Laos 2
Russian engineers in full operational outfit, in front of Laotian army trucks (Picture source: Russian MoD)

The ceremony dedicated to the start of dangerous and complex work was attended by Lao Deputy Minister of Defence, Lieutenant General Onsi Sensuk, representatives of the Directorate of the Chief of Engineers of the Russian Armed Forces, heads of the administrative regions of Bolikhamsay province. Besides, there were soldiers of the demining detachment of the People’s Army of Laos, with whom the Russian detachment established cooperation. As part of the event, the Lao representatives were shown the means of engineering equipment, and they also learn about mine clearance procedure of the Russian armed forces detachment in the area to be demined.

During five months, engineers will conduct humanitarian demining close to Lak Sao village, Bolikhamsai province, 350 km of Vientiane. They will clear over 100ha of forested area from explosive devices left after American bombardments in the period from 1964 to 1973. One of the features is to search and defuse unexploded bombs and mines, which are located in the ground at a depth of 40cm to 2.5m in the area of five villages. There are five villages close to the region to be clear up in Khamket district, Bolikhamsay province.

The squad is equipped with modern means of searching and detecting explosive objects (IMP-S2 inductive portable mine-detecting sets, MBI-P2 man-portable magnetometric mine detector, MG-1I mine detectors, INVU-3M portable detector of noncontact explosive devices) and OVR-2-02 personal protection fitted with cooling system. A 36-strong detachment of the International Mine Action Centre of the Russian Armed Forces has left for the People’s Army of Laos to assist in demining of the country.