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US backs global landmine ban

The United States yesterday threw its support behind a Canadian- backed process aimed at a global ban on landmines after a United Nations conference in Geneva failed to reach a breakthrough. "The United States will participate in the Ottawa process negotiations on a treaty banning anti-personnel landmines," said a White House statement issued on the island of Martha's Vineyard, where President Bill Clinton was on vacation.

The Canadian initiative promises a treaty by the end of the year banning the use, export, production and stockpiling of anti-personnel landmines. The problem is acute: US officials estimate 9,600 people are killed by land mines world-wide every year and another 14,000 are wounded, double the number of injuries logged in 1980.

Reuters - Edgartown