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Swiss demining group employee killed in Iraq

The city of Mosul in ruins

The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) estimates it could take 10 years to clear Mosul, a former Islamic State group stronghold, of landmines.


An American citizen, who was working for a Swiss non-governmental demining organization, lost his life during an explosion during an operation in northern Iraq.

The Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSDexternal link) announced the fatality on Tuesday.

The cause for the explosion is being investigated. Iraqi police say the accident occurred about 60 kilometers south of the city of Mosul, German news agency DPA reported.

The Islamic State group took control over Mosul in the summer of 2014. The city was declared liberated by the Iraqi government in July 2017 after a costly battle.

The jihadists planted thousands of mines in Syria and Iraq, complicating the return of civilians to areas formerly held by IS.

The Swiss demining group has been active in Iraq since 2016. It has deactivated more than 10,000 explosive devices.

The U.S. citizen is the second employee lost in the line of duty. An Australian working for FSD was killed during a demining operation in Iraq three years ago.



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