Many of the minefields in Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially those located near the rivers, have been moved by the ground erosions due to the heavy floods and now no one knows where they are located, the Bosnia's Mine Action Center (BH MAC) warned.
"Each time the water pulls back, the geography is changed a bit and if there were any mines there, they end up somewhere else," the BH MAC quality control officer Antun Sinkovic told AP.
If mines get deeply covered with soil, even the detectors can’t uncover them, and dogs can’t find them either as the smell of the explosive gets washed away by the water, he explained.
On Monday, heavy rains caused the river’s spill all over the country flooding the entire towns and villages. Thousands of people were evacuated.
“It is difficult to advice the people who live there, because there is no clearly defined way to avoid the mines. The best is to avoid all areas that have warnings of existing mines, and the areas that were flooded,” Sinkovic told B92.
Not only Bosnian residents in the flooded areas are in danger – the mines could be carried by the rivers also to neighboring countries, he added.
It is estimated that that 220,000 mine fields from the Bosnian war in the early 1990s remained all over the country. Since 1995, when the war ended, about 500 people lost their lives due to unclear minefields and more than 1000 were injured, the Bosnia’s Mine Action Centre reported.