Colombia to train Ukrainian military on landmine removal

·1 min read
FILE PHOTO: Colombia's Defense Minister Diego Molano stands during a start of a special operative as a measure to increase security and combat criminal groups at the border between Colombia and Venezuela, at a militar base in Arauca

BOGOTA (Reuters) - A team of Colombian soldiers will travel to Europe to train their Ukrainian counterparts on de-mining techniques, the South American country's defense minister said on Monday.

Colombia's nearly 60 years of internal conflict between the armed forces, leftist rebels, right-wing paramilitaries and drug cartels has made it one of the world's most-mined countries, according to the United Nations. Landmines have killed 2,342 people in Colombia and injured close to 10,000 since 1990, according to the government.

Russian soldiers and Ukrainian authorities both have said they will clear landmines from various locations in Ukraine amid the ongoing invasion launched by Russia in February.

The experts from Colombia, which is a NATO partner, were invited to give the training by the United States, Colombian defense minister Diego Molano said in a statement.

"This training will be given by 11 military engineers who will go to a NATO member country which is a neighbor of Ukraine," Molano said.

(Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Will Dunham)

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