France begins operation to destroy old sea mines

17th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

17 October 2007, CHERBOURG (AFP) - A huge mission to clear the waters off Normandy of mines from the last two World Wars began Tuesday, French authorities said.

17 October 2007

CHERBOURG (AFP) - A huge mission to clear the waters off Normandy of mines from the last two World Wars began Tuesday, French authorities said.

The mission to clear the seabed of the Seine Bay off Normandy of unexploded naval mines involves seven vessels from Nato and two French minesweepers.

Around 450 sailors from seven countries are involved in the operation which is scheduled to last until October 29.

"This operation is designed to search, find, identify and destroy all historic mines in order to improve the safety of this navigation," French maritime police spokesman Yann Bizien said.

"Fishermen still often find old mines when they haul in their trawler nets."

Barely 15 percent of the mines laid in the sea during World Wars I and II have been destroyed, officials said.

Since the start of the year, Nato battleships have destroyed 56 mines, principally in the Baltic Sea.

AFP

Subject: French news

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