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Israel to clear thousands of mines in desert

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January 29, 2012 09:24 AM EST | AP


JERUSALEM — Israel's defense ministry says it will soon begin clearing thousands of mines in southern Israel.

In a statement Sunday, defense official Ervin Lavi says the ministry will clear 60 acres of land near the Dead Sea in March.

Lavi says the ministry eventually intends to clear some 32,500 acres of land in areas where mines have shifted over time and in mined areas conquered by Israel.

Israel's move to destroy outdated land mines was spurred by fate of Israeli child Daniel Yuval.

In February 2010, while playing in the snow, the then-11-year-old child lost his leg after stepping on a land mine that drifted in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights.

His family has been campaigning to get rid of the old mines.