We all know that Land Mines are contaminating many areas of South Lebanon, but we rarely see a news report about the extend of this problem in other areas of Lebanon.
A couple of days ago I was in Batroun, while in the car I noticed that the road is surrounded by barbed wires with a red sign saying “Algham” (Mines in Arabic), I asked why the area is full of mines and the answer was that this was the border between some of the free areas of Lebanon and the areas occupied by Syria, when we reached our destination the same sign was hanging on an Electricity pole!
That wasn’t the first time I know about mines in areas other then the south, we were once in Rechmaya (Aley Region) and a friend pointed to Deir L Kamar (Chouf Region) and said that the whole mountain was full mines the Lebanese Forces planted while they were retreating to stop the Druze advance.
Today I searched for some map of the locations of the minefields, the only one I found is from 1999, it’s attached to this article (also from 1999). What’s scary in the article is that apparently they don’t know the exact number of areas contaminated, some countries won’t give us the maps of the mine locations (Syria and Israel) and many militias don’t want to give information (weird since all of them are now part of our “political life”), what’s also scary is that according to the author every year 200 people are injured or killed by mines in Lebanon!
I also found this speech by Jeffrey Feltman (US Ambassador to Lebanon) from 2004 containing some estimates, in the speech he says that we have an estimated 400,000 mines and unexploded ordnance in Lebanon and that 2800 people have been killed by them!
So what is real extend of the problem? How many minefields (and undiscovered minefields) are outside the south and do they pose a danger to the people living in those regions?