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336 Unexploded Shells Neutralised in Kargil in 2023

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SRINAGAR: Army, in collaboration with the district administration of Kargil, has successfully neutralised a total of 336 unexploded ordnance (UXO) in the Kurbathang area this year, reported The Tribune. On November 17, Army officers disposed of 132 unexploded shells in the region.

The lingering aftermath of the Kargil war in 1999 continues to pose a threat to the local population, with unexploded shells being discovered sporadically.

“In continued efforts to ensure safety for all and eliminate the threat to life, the fearless Operations Division, in close coordination with the civil administration, disposed of 134 UXOs on November 17 at Kurbathang area, taking the total number of unexploded ordnance destroyed in the area to 336 this season,” An Army official said, while speaking to The Tribune.

Prior to commencing demining activities, the local administration is duly informed, cautioning the populace to refrain from entering the area. During the sanitisation process, a magistrate, tehsildar, and police officials are stationed in proximity to monitor the exercise. Notably, Kurbathang features a football ground frequented by children.

Highlighting the potential dangers, in April of this year, a tragic incident occurred when a minor boy lost his life, and two others were injured after coming into contact with an unexploded shell. The area, reportedly a former firing range for the Army, is believed to harbor remnants from the Kargil war era.

Kargil Tehsildar Kacho Asgar acknowledged the isolated nature of the area but stressed its popularity due to the football ground. He commented, “The population is asked to remain away from the area where the de-mining exercise starts. It takes hours for the drive to complete before we open the area for the people.”

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