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"When you take a battlefield, so many bombs have been dropped, so many shots have been fired – there's just so much metallic debris," says Lahiru. "More often than not it's harmless – it's a coke can or a bullet shell – but you have to act like it's a mine. You have to go down on your knees and probe with a handheld tool." Such 'clutter' can really slow down progress – and in a field where resources and manpower are scarce, it's a significant problem. It's the reason there's such a discrepancy between the cost of laying a mine (low) and removing a mine (high).

Sunday Times, Sri Lanka, July 2010