Rats sniff out mines

MAPUTO - De-mining in Mozambique will soon get a boost with the arrival of more specially trained rats, reports said yesterday.

Radio Mozambique said the international de-mining company, Apopo, will receive 15 additional de-mining rats to add to its current furry workforce of 25. The rodents are used to sniff out mines - an unfortunate legacy of Mozambique's civil war - in the southern province of Inhambane.

Sam Macloud, Apopo spokesman, said Inhambane was one of the most heavily mined provinces in Mozambique.

"We want to have these areas cleared so that they can be used by the local population to build houses or for agriculture."

Demins national de-mining agency has said it was doubtful Mozambique would achieve the UN goal of a landmine-free society by 2015. - Sapa