A Syrian government army soldier on ruins of the temple of Bel destroyed by ISIS militants in Palmyra, a UNESCO world heritage site.Valery Sharifulin/TASS
Russian sappers are tasked with demining over 180 hectares in the Syrian city of Palmyra, Russian General Staff Main Operative Department head Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi said on March 31.
"According to tentative estimates, more than 180 hectares of historical architectural sites and residential areas of the city need to be cleared of mines," Rudskoi said at a press briefing in Moscow.
The mine action is complicated because of a large number of improvised explosive devices planted by terrorist groups in Palmyra in addition to factory-grade mines. "Russian demining robots, Uran-2s, will be used to clear most difficult sections," Rudskoi said.
A substantial number of statues, temples and other structures were destroyed by militants of the so called Islamic State (ISIS) after they took Palmyra under control in 2015. On March 27, 2016 Palmyra was liberated from ISIS by the Syrian government army.
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