Britain to start clearing mines on Falklands

Britain will start next year to clear land mines left by Argentina on the Falkland Islands, a British ambassador said Friday at a UN conference on the treaty banning the weapons. Ambassador John Duncan said Britain has committed to other countries in the treaty that it will begin the clearing of the estimated 16,000 mines left on the islands. "By the time we've completed the tender process and appointed someone to do the mine clearance, it will probably be this time next year before they could start," Duncan told The Associated Press. The mines were planted by Argentina which invaded the Falkland Islands in 1982, then lost a brief war with British forces. Britain also laid mines on the island, but those were subsequently removed.