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Lawmakers propose land mine ban

Aug. 1, 2006 at 11:40 PM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Two U.S. senators are proposing a law that would prohibit the procurement of land mines or other victim-activated weapons.

The Victim-activated Land Mine Abolition Act of 2006, proposed by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Arlen Specter, R-Pa., would block Pentagon efforts to develop and produce the first new U.S. victim-activated anti-personnel land mines in nearly a decade.

Human Rights Watch said the Pentagon is expected to make a decision soon to produce a munition called "Spider" with a controversial feature that turns it into an anti-personnel mine.

"The United States shouldn't be making and using weapons that can't discriminate between a soldier and a civilian," Steve Goose, director of the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch, said in a release.

Spider contains a "battlefield override" feature that turns Spider into an anti-personnel mine that would be prohibited by the Mine Ban Treaty, Human Rights Watch said.

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