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    Eight booby-trap mines defused in N. Caucasus over past 3 days

    Thousands of explosives disarmed every year by Russian army sappers

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    Russian army sappers render harmless some 100,000 mines and other forms of ammunition every year, an Armed Forces official said on Saturday.

    Russian army sappers render harmless some 100,000 mines and other forms of ammunition every year, an Armed Forces official said on Saturday.

    The items are both World War Two relics and contemporary devices, Vasily Kondratuk, the head of the Armed Forces study centre for sappers, told the Moscow-based Ekho Moskvy.

    He also said that many explosive devices disarmed in Russia's volatile North Caucasus republic of Chechnya were improvised.

    'This is what makes it difficult," he said. "They don't fall into any established category."

    However, he pointed out that despite the fact that "little attention is paid to the study of such mines" not a single army sapper died in Chechnya in 2009.

    He also said that women did not possess all the necessary skills to become good sappers.

    "I've never encountered a female sapper in the army," he said. "A sapper should have knowledge, experience and intuition. Women have good intuition, but you need courage as well."

    Despite this, he added that, "The first time I held explosive materials in my hands, I felt afraid. In general, a sapper without fear is not a sapper."

    MOSCOW, March 13 (RIA Novosti) 

     

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