Sheet 8 Roads in rural areas
Because of the fighting, roads in rural Angola are often not maintained. The picture shows a typical tar road and a typical unsurfaced or “dirt” road.
Roads may be mined by soldiers trying to stop the enemy or by bandits trying to steal from civilians using the roads.
The picture shows a range of anti-tank (AT) mines. These are much larger than anti-personnel mines and may be plastic, metal or wooden cased. A few have no case and are formed from cast explosives. They are designed to stop military vehicles and will usually severely damage any civilian vehicle unlucky enough to detonate one.
Mines may be laid in potholes and covered in earth. In some cases, a patch of tar is removed, the mine hidden, and the tar put back.
Always ask the authorities about the security situation before driving on a road.
If a road is overgrown and has not been used recently, do not drive on it.
When possible, travel in a convoy of other vehicles escorted by the police or military.
Driving fast does not make it less likely that you will detonate a mine.
The mines shown are only a few of the AT mines known to have been used in Angola. The ones shown are:
A – The Mk-7 mine containing 8.89kg of TNT. 325mm in diameter (12¾“) this is a metal cased mine
B – The TMA-2 mine containing 6.5kg of TNT. 260mm in diameter (10¼”) this is a plastic cased mine that can be very difficult to detect.
C – The TM-62M mine containing 7.5kg of TNT. 320mm in diameter (about 12½”) this is a metal cased mine.
D – The PT Mi-Ba-III mine containing 7.2kg of TNT. 330mm in diameter (about 13”) this is a bakelite (plastic) cased mine that can be very hard to detect.
E – This is not a mine. It is an example of a circle of tar that was lifted and a mine placed beneath it.
F – The Type 72 (AT) mine containing 5.4kg of TNT/RDX. 270mm in diameter (about 10½”) , a plastic cased mine that can be very hard to detect.
G – The TM-57mine containing 6.34kg of TNT (or mixed TNT/RDX/Aluminium). 316mm in diameter (12½“) this is a metal cased mine.
H – The TMA-3 mine containing 6.5kg of TNT. 265mm in diameter (about 10 ¼”) this mine is cast from explosive with a resin reinforced fabric wrapped around it. The example shown has started to crack up.
I – The C-3-A mine containing 5kg of TNT/RDX/Aluminium. 290mm in diameter (about 11½“) this is a plastic cased mine and can be very hard to detect.
J – The PT Mi-K mine containing 5kg of TNT. 300mm in diameter (about 12”), this is a metal cased mine.
K – The TM-62B mine containing 7.5kg of TNT. 315mm in diameter (about 12½”), this mine is cast from explosive.
L – The TMD-B mine containing 5-7kg of TNT or picric acid. About 320mm square (12½”), this is a wooden boxed mine.
Sheet 9 Old road
The picture shows a dirt road that was once an easy route between towns. Soldiers on foot used the road to escape after several attacks on nearby installations, so the defenders mined the road with anti-personnel blast mines. As a result, the attackers stopped using the road and it was abandoned.
No one should walk on a road mined with anti-personnel mines.
After about fifteen years, the undergrowth has started to cover the road but it is still an obviously unusual strip through the bush.
It is not possible to see mines in most mined areas, and none are visible in this picture.
If possible avoid unnatural breaches in the bush that may once have been tracks or roads. If local people do not use it, ask them why.
When possible, consult a map before entering an area. The road in this picture is still marked as a road on available maps of the area.
Do not use roads that have been abandoned.
Sheet 10 Old road
As the road was cleared of mines, two of the mines were seen ahead of the work. In the picture, the growth of roots has tipped one slightly sideways.
The mines are a former USSR PMN-2 and a Chinese Type 72. The PMN-2 is 120mm in diameter (about 4¾”). The Type 72 anti-personnel mine is 78mm in diameter (just over 3”).
The Type 72 is usually a minimum metal mine with a simple firing mechanism but it has an anti-handling variant that looks very similar. The anti-handling version is called the Type 72B. A Type 72B has an electronic firing mechanism and a tilt switch inside it so that the mine will detonate if it is tilted. This mine is activated using batteries, so may not be functional after a long period. Both types of Type 72 contain the same explosive charge.
To a deminer, the most obvious difference between a Type 72 and the Type 72B may be the strength of the detector reading. The T72B contains a small circuit board and batteries so gives a much larger detector reading than the minimum metal in the standard Type 72. Another difference is the shape of the arming pin. The Type 72 has a round ring on the end of the pin. The Type 72B has a triangular ring on the end of the pin.
Arming pins may be discarded when mines are laid.
The parts shown are:
A – arming keys from the PMN-2 mine. One is new and the other has been in wet ground for two years.
B – PMN-2 mines. The colour may be green or brown.
C – On the left of the letter C is a PMN-2 with the top removed. The explosive content can be seen. It has been lacquered with black resin. Notice that the explosive is only on the side of the mine opposite the key. To ensure full destruction of the mine, a demolition charge must be placed on the side with the high explosive. To the right and below the letter C are parts of the top of the mine.
D – Above and to the right of the letter D is the underside of the PMN-2. The detailed moulding is often full of earth when a mine has been in place for some time.
E – The Chinese Type 72 anti-personnel mine (there is also a Type 72 anti-tank mine).
F – The electronic circuit board from the inside of a Type 72b.
G – The arming pins of the Type 72 and the Type 72b. The circular “spring” and firing pin and the lower half of the mine showing the stab-sensitive igniter and the TNT filling. The TNT has been sealed with a black resin.
H – Above the letter H is the inside of the top of the mine. Below the letter H is the underside of the mine showing the cavity into which the booster and detonator are screwed.
I – Above the letter I is the top of a Type 72 that has been damaged in a bush fire, Below the letter I is a Type 72b – identifiable by the shape of its pin.
J – The booster that screws into the base of the Type 72 and the small aluminium cased detonator that fits inside it. Deminers should be aware that the version of Type 72 made in South Africa looks very similar but may be sealed together so that the top cannot be unscrewed.