Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 4 Issue: 33

Landmines killed more people in Chechnya last year than in any country in the world, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines announced on September 9. Chechnya also had one of fastest rates of increases in such deaths.

The estimated death toll for Chechnya was 5,695, a twofold increase from the 2001 figure of 2,140. Afghanistan was a distant second with 1,286 deaths from mines. Moreover, in Afghanistan the trend is heading in the right direction, having dropped from 1,445 deaths the previous year. Colombia suffered an increase as great as Chechnya’s, but with much lower absolute numbers–from 216 deaths in 2001 to 530 in 2002.

The group emphasized that both federal and separatist forces plant mines in Chechnya.