Syrian army sappers continued to clear mines in areas previously held by anti-government militants near Latakia on Monday, with more than 800 homemade explosives having been defused since the start of the month.

Head of the engineering service of the Syrian army in Aleppo province Rafi Mohammed Magdi said that eleven villages around Latakia have been cleared from mines, despite initial delays in the operations due to lack of personnel.

SOT, Rafi Mohammed Magdi, Head of the engineering service of the Syrian army in Aleppo province (Arabic): "We could not start demining for a long time. There was not enough strength, everyone was at the front. Now, when the situation has improved, we clear the village of Latakia mountain from landmines. In eleven villages it is already safe."

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