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Marshall Legacy Institute handed over five more spy dogs to Azerbaijan

30 August 2023 [18:38] - TODAY.AZ
Abbas Ganbay

US-funded non-governmental organization Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI) has handed over five more bomb disposal dogs to Azerbaijan

The U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan said Wednesday that the Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI) has handed over five more bomb-detection dogs to Azerbaijan. This is the 300th bomb-sniffing dog transferred by MLI to mine-affected countries, of which 81 bomb-sniffing dogs were sent to Azerbaijan. This support is particularly significant as it follows a previous phase in which MLI transferred 6 demining dogs to Azerbaijan, Azernews reports, citing MLI.

MLI is a US-funded non-governmental organization working to reduce the impact of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) around the world. Together with local partners, the organization provides rescue dogs, mine risk education, and victim assistance programs. MLI has been working in Azerbaijan since 2001, providing mine detection dogs and training to the Azerbaijan National Mine Action Agency (ANAMA).

The U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan reported the news on social networking site X (Twitter), noting that the transfer of scout dogs is an important step in helping to reduce the impact of landmines and ERW in Azerbaijan. The scout dogs will help detect and defuse mines, making it safer for people to live and work in affected areas.

The U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan expressed its gratitude to MLI for its continued support and assistance in making Azerbaijan a safer place.

Azerbaijan has made demining its top priority as hundreds of thousands of former internally displaced persons (IDPs) hope to return to their homes and rebuild destroyed towns. The region was once known for its agricultural products.

This urgent need to demine the liberated territories is one of Azerbaijan's "most important issues", as reiterated by President Aliyev during a speech at the Azerbaijan Global Media Forum last month. Addressing hundreds of international delegates in the city of Shusha - which is also in an area still heavily contaminated by mines - some 300 Azerbaijanis have been killed or injured by landmines since Azerbaijan reclaimed the region.

Azerbaijan's National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA), established in 1998 with a mandate to demine the country with United Nations support, has developed innovative approaches to demining. It has also been supported by the US government over the years. Today, the agency is training new IDP volunteers.

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