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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Land Mines

Knut Dörmann

Subject(s):
Armed conflict — Armed forces — Military matters — Warfare, land — Weapons of mass destruction — Geneva Conventions 1949 — Combatants

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law under the direction of Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1 The name ‘mine’ originates from the practice of mining, where tunnels were dug under enemy fortifications or forces. These tunnels (‘mines’) were first collapsed to destroy fortifications above, and later filled with explosives and detonated. This kind of subterranean attack subsequently inspired the development of explosive munitions that could be placed on or under the ground. These ‘landmines’ have been used widely in countless conflicts over the last century. 2 The main feature of landmines is that they are victim-activated. A landmine can be triggered in a...
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