Andy Smith
MIne-action specialist
 

Mined area Indicators – Angola: Areas without signs

 

 

Sheet 3     Mined areas without signs

The general public should never assume that a mined area will have warnings signs. They may have been stolen, overgrown or never been placed.

A - The picture on the top left shows a fence around an old army base. The fence is of rusted and broken wire mesh. The other side is heavily overgrown because it is defensively mined. Many minefield fences in Angola were originally of several strands of barbed wire attached to posts. The posts may have rotted or been removed, so what wire remains may lie on the ground and be very hard to see. In some cases, mines have been placed outside the fence of a minefield.

Suggested message(s):

  • Look out for fences and do not approach them from either side.
  • Avoid overgrown and unused areas whenever possible.

B - The picture on the top right shows a bridge on a main road. The land around the bridge is used and the trees are cut for firewood. Around the bridge itself, the undergrowth is thick and has not been cut. Most road bridges have paths beside them allowing people access to the water in the river below. In this case, a narrow path weaves upstream for 100 meters before dropping down to the water. People avoid the area around the bridge because it has been mined.

Suggested message(s):

  • Road bridges may have been mined defensively.
  • Use paths when travelling in unknown areas.

C - The picture on the lower left shows a bridge that has been destroyed during the fighting. The people that destroyed it did not want it to be repaired so they placed mines around what is left

Suggested message:

  • When something has been deliberately destroyed, it may have been mined or booby trapped to stop it being repaired.

D - The picture on the lower right shows the edge of a village beside a major road. The contrast between the cleared area and the heavy undergrowth is very obvious. It indicates the presence of a defensive mine belt. Villages alongside the major roads in Angola are frequently protected with minefields.
Suggested message:

  • Towns and villages along the major roads in Angola are frequently protected with minefields.

Sheet 4 Vehicles

The general public should never assume that a damaged or abandoned vehicle or piece of military equipment is safe. The vehicles may have been booby-trapped or may contain dangerous ammunition.

A - The picture on the top left shows a military vehicle that was destroyed during fighting. It is positioned overlooking a road. When the defending forces abandoned it, they mined the area around it to make sure that the enemy could not safely use it. They also attached tripwires to an explosive charge in some tins of ammunition inside.

Suggested message(s):

  • Do not be tempted to investigate apparently abandoned military equipment.
  • Souvenir hunting kills people.
  • Never gather ammunition for its scrap value.

B - The picture on the top right shows a tank in the long grass beside a road. The tank broke down and while the crew waited for assistance, they were attacked. Their bodies are still inside the tank which has been wrecked by grenades. There is damaged ammunition inside the tank and the risk of disease from the corpses.

Suggested message(s):

  • Do not be tempted to investigate apparently abandoned military equipment.
  • Souvenir hunting kills people.

C - The picture on the lower left shows a car that has been ambushed and driven off the road. The bullet holes in the windscreen indicate that it was ambushed. The fact that it has not been burnt or blown-up is a clue that it has been booby trapped. A grenade is wedged under the driver seat with a wire from its pin to the door handle. This was done by bandits, not soldiers.

Suggested message(s):

  • Any vehicle that has been abandoned may be dangerous.
  • If a vehicle is abandoned with useful parts left unguarded, be especially cautious.

D - The picture on the lower right shows a truck that detonated a mine with its rear wheel as it passed over a small bridge on a rural road. The blast blew the bridge downward and the truck fell into the hole. The driver survived. The truck was left until the road had been checked for more mines before it was taken away. The mine clearers found mines on the land beside the bridge. These were placed so that people trying to drive around the wreck would also be blown up.

Suggested message(s):

  • Damaged vehicles may be a clue to the presence of mines.
  • If mines are laid on one route, they may also have been laid on any obvious alternative routes.

 

 

Mined area
warning signs

 

Areas without
signs

 

Informal
warning
signs

 

Roads in
rural areas

 

 

Improvised devices
on roads

 

Surveyor's stick
scene

 

Fighter plane
scenario

 

Abandoned
grazing land

 

Tank
Scene

 

 

Washout
Scene

 

Embankment
Scene

 

Destroyed
train

 

Abandoned
building

 

Transporter
Scene

 

Angola bush
Scene

 

Power-line
Scene

 

Burnt-off
area

 

Trench
Scene

 

 

Angola
bush 2

 

OZM
Scene

 

Small
fuzes

 

 

How mines
age

 

Other common
AP mines

 

Other common
ordnance

 

Other common
indicators

 

Ammunition
dump

 

Mine
injuries

 

TEACHING
NOTES
*.doc

 

TEACHING
NOTES
*.pdf