Flood Dislodges Land Mines, Closing Chile Highway

Published February 21, 2012 2:36AM (EST)

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Chilean authorities say flooding from heavy rains dislodged anti-personnel and anti-tank mines, floating two of the explosive devices onto the Pan-American Highway near the border with Peru.

Gov. Ximena Valcarce of Arica and Parinacota says soldiers were called in and exploded the land mines without incident Tuesday.

Traffic has been suspended on the highway and on a railway and fishermen are being denied access to the nearby ocean while troops and police check for other dislodged land mines. About 20,000 people use that part of the road every day.

Officials say the land mines were among thousands laid in the 1970s by the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet during a time of tensions with Peru.

By Salon Staff

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