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Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining

What is a mine?

A mine is a munition designed to be placed under, on or near the ground or other surface area and to be exploded by the presence, proximity or contact of a person or vehicule and that will incapacitate, injure or kill one or more persons. A mine can remain active for decades after it has been laid. Therefore, even long after a conflict has ended, mines continue to injure and kill posing a major threat to the safety of the population. 

Different types of landmines

Blast mines

These are buried in the ground and detonate when someone steps on them.

Directional fragmentation mines

These are designed to be positioned in the direction the enemy is likely to advance from. This mine can be victim activated by a tripwire or command detonated. Once triggered, it projects metal fragments in a specific direction.

Bounding fragmentation mines

These are buried in the ground and triggered by either a tripwire or by stepping on them. Once triggered, they jump into the air and detonate, spreading metal fragments in a 360-degree arc.

Omni-directional fragmentation mines

These are hidden above ground in vegetation and triggered by a tripwire. It spreads metal fragments in a 360-degree arc.

Anti-vehicle mine

A munition designed to be placed under, on or near the ground or other surface area and to be exploded by the presence, proximity or contact of a vehicle as opposed to a person.