Sweden gives Cambodia 10 mine-sniffing dogs

Sweden has donated 10 mine-sniffing dogs to help rid Cambodia of its leftover wartime scourge, an official said Friday. The dogs spent eight months training in Bosnia-Herzegovina, another of the world's most heavily mined countries, and were to train an additional four months in Cambodia before starting work, said Heng Ratana, deputy director-general of Cambodian Mine Action Center.

Each dog is valued at about US$40,000 ( Ђ 33,000), including the cost of training, he said. Cambodia currently has 56 mine-sniffing dogs, but six will be retired in March, he said.

Mine-sniffing dogs generally have a working life of up to 12 years, but Cambodia's hot climate limits their working time to about six years, he said.

Cambodia started using dogs to help with mine clearing in 1999. An estimated 4 million to 6 million land mines and other unexploded ordnance from more than three decades of armed conflict maim or kill many Cambodians each year, reports the AP.


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