Since their first use during the U.S. Civil War (Croll 1998), blast landmines have played a role in almost every armed conflict from the World Wars to the most recent limited skirmishes. Landmines are the epitome of the consummate soldier: always ready, never tiring. Mines are simple devices that can be fabricated with little effort and from readily available materials. In Sri Lanka, numerous news releases covering the conflict mention a "Johnny mine" (Botsford 1997), which is a local term for an improvised explosive device. Manufactured mines can be inexpensive, costing as little as two dollars apiece. If mine laying operations ceased tomorrow, an estimated 100 million mines would remain in place throughout the world (United Nations 1994).



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