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Russian sappers demined over 180 hectares of territory in Palmyra — minister

Russian sappers have demined over 180 hectares of territory in Syria's Palmyra since April 1, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Tuesday.

"Over 30 kilometers of roads, over 182 hectares of territory has been demined since April 1, and 2,987 explosive devices were found," Shoigu said at the meeting with commanders of the army and fleet at the National Defense Management Center.

A demining unit was formed by the International Anti-Mine Center of the Russian Armed Forces to clear the architectural and historical part of Palmyra from explosive devices. "Specialists are conducting engineering reconnaissance and clear the territory with use of modern robotic systems," Shoigu said adding that special forces ensure security of the unit.

At the end of March, the Syrian army liberated the ancient city of Palmyra, a UNESCO world heritage site, with support from the Russian air group. Palmyra, an ancient city in Syria's Homs province, was seized by gunmen of the Islamic State (a terrorist organization banned in Russia) in early summer 2015.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 12Apr16]

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