Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Israeli forces leave behind unexploded landmines

By Julian Rake

ABED RABBO, Gaza Strip, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Standing on the ruins of his family home, 75-year-old Majdi al-Athamna waves an unexploded landmine in the direction of a camera crew.

Alarmed, they urge him to put it down.

"Don't worry -- if I die it would be no more than what has already been destroyed," he shouts before finally relenting and climbing down from the rubble left after this month's Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip.

The mine, he says, was one of many placed by Israeli soldiers to demolish the apartment building that once housed dozens of members of his extended family.

"Fifty years I've been building this and it's all gone in the blink of an eye," he said in a quavering voice.

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