By Sun Shuai
BEIRUT, Aug. 12 -- The 18th Chinese peacekeeping multifunctional engineer detachment to Lebanon completed its last mine-clearing operation in Lebanon on August 11, setting a new record by clearing an area of more than 10,000 square meters within a single batch.
The demining operations were carried out at a minefield designated by the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) for humanitarian mine clearance missions on the early morning of August 11. Four Chinese mine clearance operators strictly followed the UN Standard Operating Procedures for Mine Action and completed all clearance tasks in the minefield in that afternoon.
During the inspection, director of the UN Mine Action Service said that Chinese peacekeeping minesweepers always braved to fight on the Blue Line and undertook the most dangerous mission of the UNIFIL. "The UNIFIL and Lebanese people are very grateful for your hard work," added the director.
Furthermore, he stressed that the Chinese peacekeepers have carried out minesweeping missions along the Blue Line for 14 years, and have achieved many excellent results in minesweeping with "the largest demining number, the fastest demining speed, zero casualties and zero accidents". The Chinese minesweeping team is the best of its kind in his opinion.
Since their deployment to Lebanon at the end of May last year, the 18th Chinese peacekeeping multifunctional engineer detachment to Lebanon has so far cleared 4 minefields, 1 suspected minefield, and 1 minefield for humanitarian mine clearance, and discovered and destroyed 1,577 mines. The total area of mine clearance field is up to 10,427 square meters. This is the first time that a single batch of mine clearance area by the Chinese peacekeeping minesweepers has exceeded 10,000 square meters since China started sending peacekeeping troops to Lebanon in 2006.
It is learned that the 18th batch of Chinese peacekeeping troops to Lebanon was initially scheduled for a one-year mission. Still, the rotation was delayed for more than two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.