Photograph: HINA / ds

A ceremony was held on Wednesday in Vukovar to mark the removal of landmines, left over from the 1991-1995 Homeland  Defence War, from Vukovar-Srijem County, and on that occasion the head of the Croatian Mine Action Centre (HCR), Drazen Jakopec, said that a total of 17,797 explosive devices had been detected and destroyed during the demining of this eastern part of Croatia.

Jakopec said that maps of mine-suspected areas had covered 107.2 square kilometres, which was 4.4% of the County's total area.

Of those 17,797 explosive devices that had been found and destroyed, 6,650 were booby traps and 11,147 anti-tank mines, he said.

A total of 819 million kuna was invested into the removal of mines in Vukovar-Srijem County, and 53% of that sum was allocated from the state budget.

There have been 116 casualties in mine blasts in the area, and of them 41 have been fatalities, the HCR head said.

Vukovar-Srijem County is the third county to be declared free of mines, after Dubrovnik-Neretva and Virovitica-Podravina counties were also completely demined.

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic's envoy at this ceremony in Vukovar, Drago Prgomet of the HRID party, said that in mine-fields that were left over from the war were a peril for civilians.

"In these fields cleared of mines we want to sow the seed that will make Croatia safer, more developed and better," Prgomet said.

Later, the HRID MP said that he was pleasantly surprised by the President's decision to send him as her envoy to Vukovar and added that no petty-politicking should be imputed to that decision.

Asked by reporters how the president's decision should be interpreted in light of the fact that he had left the Croatian Democratic Union and later the Bridge party, that now constitute the government, and in light of his political disagreement with his former colleagues, Prgomet said that he had left the HDZ "for principled reasons and disagreement about the HDZ's future."

Prgomet, however, said that he would like to avoid any political comment on today's event.


(EUR 1 = HRK 7.6)

Related stories

Vukovar County free of land mines

US donates EUR 56,700 for demining in Croatia

HRK 9.7 mln contract inked for mine clearance

2nd phase of demining of farmland starts in Sisak

AmCham donates HRK 830,000 cheque for mine clearance

Latest news

Serbia's EU negotiator says minority rights neglected

The head of the Serbia's European Union accession negotiation team, Tanja Miscevic, said in Novi Sad on Wednesday that minority rights had been neglected for many years and added that positive results in that regard cannot be achieved over night, the Beta news agency has reported. 

Scientists: Nearby star's 7 rocky planets are "best bet" for life

New analysis of telescope data shows a dwarf star just 40 light years from Earth has at least seven apparently rocky planets with potential to harbour water, an international team of scientists announced Wednesday.

Croatian PM receives EIB Vice-President

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic met on Wednesday with European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice-President Dario Scannapieco for talks on the bank's contribution to a new investment cycle in Croatia and its support to the Croatian government to implement key projects, a press release from the government's office said.

Bomb explodes outside police officer's home in Northern Ireland

A bomb exploded outside a police officer's home in Northern Ireland on Wednesday but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

Denmark to charge man with blasphemy over burning Koran

Danish prosecutors said Wednesday they have opened a rare blasphemy case against a man who videotaped himself burning a copy of the Koran.

South Africa to raise taxes for the wealthiest

South Africa will raise the income tax rate for the country's wealthiest to 45 per cent from 41 per cent, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced Wednesday.

Reformist Macron wins support of key centrist leader for French vote

France's reformist presidential hopeful, Emmanuel Macron, got a boost on Wednesday when he picked up the support of a party leader whose centrist constituency played a pivotal role in the last two presidential elections.

Amnesty International warns of nationalist rhetoric and hate speech in Croatia

Croatia continues to have problems with discrimination against ethnic minorities and with freedom of the media, while heightened nationalist rhetoric and hate speech during election time contributed to growing ethnic intolerance and insecurity in the country, global human rights watchdog Amnesty International said in its annual report on the state of human rights in the world in 2016/2017.

Official assigned to Wilders' security team held by Dutch police

A security official assigned to protect Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders is being held by police on suspicion of passing along classified information about the lawmaker to a Dutch-Moroccan crime gang.

100th anniversary of rescuing starving children marked

A special ceremony was held in Zagreb's Croatian National Theatre on Wednesday to mark the 100th anniversary of one of the greatest humanitarian undertakings in the history of the Croatian people which saved children in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina from famine in the last two years of World War I.

Italy's 'Red Thing' could make impact in election debut, polls show

Two polls conducted for RAI public broadcaster released Wednesday showed a new entity that split from Italy's ruling Democratic Party

Council: Nixing grants to "Novosti" would cause far-reaching implications

The Council for National Minorities, a state-level autonomous umbrella organisation for all ethnic minorities in Croatia, has stated that the cancellation of financial grants to the "Novosti", a newspaper of the ethnic Serb minority, would produce far-reaching implications and stir criticism for reduction of free speech and of freedom of expression of the most numerous ethnic minority.