By Sun Shuai and NiuYanli
BEIRUT, Aug.23 (ChinaMil) -- It is reported on Wednesday that, at the request of the Cambodian peacekeeping force, and in accordance with the directive of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the Chinese peacekeeping contingent to Lebanon supported their Cambodian counterparts to carry out demining missions along the Lebanese border, and destroyed a total of 285 mines within last month.
The Chinese and Cambodian contingents are the only two UNIFIL forces that have mine clearance and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) qualifications at the present stage. Over the years, they have jointly shouldered various demining tasks near the Blue Line between Israel and Lebanon. However, the Cambodian contingent has recently been hampered by a lack of explosives.
Major General Stefano Del Col, Head of Mission and Force Commander of the UNIFIL, signed a briefing on July 20, requesting the Chinese blue berets to provide both explosives and technical support to their Cambodian counterparts for the controlled blasting of the cleared unexploded ordnance.
By August 21, the Chinese peacekeepers have supported the Cambodian counterparts to carry out the missions for one month and destroyed 285 Israeli No. 4 anti-personnel (AP) mines, during which period of time, the Chinese accompanied the Cambodians every weekday to check the mine field and construction situation of the detonation line on the Cambodian side and, to assist in the final disposal of the mines.
The demining supervisor of the Cambodian contingent thanked the Chinese side for its guidance and assistance. He said that before they came to help, the Cambodian demining operators could only remove suspected explosives without thorough disposal. However for now, the work efficiency and safety of the Cambodian demining operators have been greatly improved. "Without Chinese support, our work will be stagnant", he said.