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News 16 Jun 15

Deadly Mines 'Still Being Thrown' Into Montenegrin Sea

Montenegrin police divers have de-activated more unexploded mines in the Adriatic Sea - and warn that such devices are still being thrown into the sea, posing a danger to many.

Dusica Tomovic
BIRN
Podgorica

Montenegro's Centre for Underwater Demining on Monday said explosive devices were still being thrown into the sea, posing a general danger to swimmers, divers and many others.

The appeal came de-miners found a number of unexploded bombs off shore in the bay near the resort towns of Kotor and Tivat on Monday.

"These bombs, which are a threat to swimmers and tourists, were thrown away by some irresponsible persons, apparently not long ago ," the diving centre said in a statement.

Montenegro’s Adriatic coastline was infested with underwater mines left there are World Wars I and II and after the 1991–1995 conflict in former Yugoslavia.

The locations of most of the unexploded underwater mines remain unknown, although the area in the bay near the resort towns of Kotor and Tivat is thought to be the most affected.

The Centre for Underwater Demining, a unit of the Ministry of Interior, has been working for years to detect these underwater hazards and rehabilitate areas where wartime ordnance is still present.  

According to the Centre, its divers and de-miners found more than 600 unexploded mines, bombs and other explosive devices in Montenegrin waters last year alone.

Since it was set up in 2002, it has rendered safe approximately 2 million square metres of water and destroyed approximately 120 tons of mines and other explosive items.

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