Andy Smith
Mine action specialist

Mined area indicators – Kurdistan / Iraq


An HMA training resource

The materials in this page are intended to augment MRE resources for copyright free use in Kurdistan and Iraq. This is not a comprehensive resource. It has been produced to augment my earlier training material that is in use in Iraq despite being singularly inappropriate.

This training resource is available in separate picture files below or as a 3.1 megabyte PDF for A3 printing
or a 2.4 megabyte PDF for A4 printing.

All pictures can be used without restriction but may not be reproduced in any printed or electronic media that is offered for sale.

  thumbnails of the pages

In areas where mines have been used or battles have taken place, there are usually signs that the area is dangerous even when nothing is immediately visible.  Some indicators – such as barbed wire defences and destroyed vehicles – should be obvious, but many are harder to see and may not be recognised without special training.  All of these signs are known as `indicators' and include a range of devices as well as their components or packaging that may be found where various mines and explosive hazards have been used.

These images have been prepared as a minor training resource for mine action programs. Used within an existing structured training program, this material is intended to enhance people's ability to recognise danger areas among the scenes and situations that they encounter every day.

These materials are intended for use at two levels:

  • For local people or visitors as part of general mine awareness training.
  • In greater depth for deminers and minefield survey teams.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the content, I have no control over the way that it will be used, and therefore cannot accept liability for any loss arising from use of this material.

The Valmara minefield shows a Kurdish hillside covered in dry grass. A Valmara 69 bounding fragmentation mine can be seen with the tripwire stake attached to the next mine in the row. The colour of the mine and the dusty conditions mean that although the mine is clearly visible, it is very hard to spot.

The Defensive Trench shows a deep trench running over a hillside. There is barbed wire in the trench and also mines. The mines could have been placed when the trench was abandoned but in this case local people have moved mines into the trench to prevent them injuring their livestock. A Valmara 69 fragmentation mine can be seen in the trench. Often the sides of trenches collapse and any mines and explosive hazards in them cannot be seen.

The PMN minefield shows an area where new grass is sprouting after rain. Some PMN mines are visible, but there are more than cannot be seen.

The BLU-97 strike shows the impact of a cluster bomb that was dropped from too low a height and so hit the ground intact. Damaged BLU-97 submunitions are scattered around. The remains of the cluster bomb itself were valuable and have already been scavenged for scrap - despite the dangers involved in doing so. The BLU-97 submunitions that were inside the Cluster bomb have a high explosive charge, a fragmentation jacket, a zirconium incendiary and an armour piercing shaped charge. They frequently kill those interacting with them.


Valmara minefield
page file 1
page file 2


Defensive trench
page file 1
page file 2


PMN minefield
page file 1
page file 2


BLU-97 Strike
page file 1
page file 2


Various ordnance
page file 1