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Types of Landmines

There are two main types of land mines: anti-tank mines (AT) and anti-personnel mines (AP).

Anti-tank mines

Anti-tank mines are designed to be triggered by heavy vehicles such as tanks
. They are large (usually bigger than a person’s shoe) and heavy (weighing more than 5 kilos). These mines contain enough explosives to destroy the vehicle that runs over them and as a result also frequently kill people in or near the vehicle. Anti-tank mines are laid where enemy vehicles are expected to travel: on roads, bridges and tracks.

Anti-personnel mines

Anti-personnel mines are triggered much more easily and are designed to wound people
. They have less explosives and are much smaller and lighter than anti-tank mines—they could be as small as a packet of cigarettes, weighing as little as 50 grams. Anti-personnel mines come in all shapes and colours and are made from a variety of materials. They are also referred to as AP mines.
Although AP mines may kill a person, they are primarily designed to cause severe injury—a wounded person must be assisted and this takes more of the enemy’s time and resources. Anti-personnel mines can be laid anywhere and can be set off in a number of ways—stepping on them, pulling on a wire or simply shaking them. Anti-personnel mines may also explode when an object placed over them is removed.


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