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Ban: Land mines still significant threat

UNITED NATIONS, March 2 (UPI) -- Land mines remain a significant threat despite years of ordnance-clearing successes, according to the head of the United Nations.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon released a statement Sunday lauding the 10-year anniversary of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention entering into force. Ban also praised the ongoing work to clear mines around the world, including more than 200,000 landmines that were safely removed in 2008, the United Nations reported.

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Despite the mine-clearance successes, Ban said there is still a real threat to the safety of populations where explosive ordnance is still present.

"There are still formidable challenges," Ban said in a statement.

"Land mines continue to kill and injure every year; they hinder social and economic development and represent a serious obstacle for humanitarian operations throughout the world."

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