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NAKHABINO/Moscow region/, June 7. /TASS/. Russia’s combat engineers who were sent for a mission to clear Syria’s Palmyra of mines have returned to the international anti-mine center of Russia’s Armed Forces in the Moscow region, a spokesman for Russia’s defense ministry said on Tuesday.
The servicemen were greeted by representatives of Russia’s General Staff, the command of Engineer Forces, colleagues, relatives and friends. Deputy Chief of General Staff Sergey Istrakov gave awards to more than 30 troops for their work in Syria.
"More than 800 hectares of territory, 23 kilometers of roads and 10 sites of historic heritage were cleared of explosives during the effort. The result of work that you have done is the successful implementation of the task set by the commander-in-chief and deep gratitude of the Syrian people," he said.
The engineers have cleared more than 2,500 buildings of mines, found and defused around 17,500 explosive objects, including more than 400 self-made bombs, the ministry said.
The Russian sappers had been on a mine clearing mission in Palmyra since April 2 where they first demined the city’s historic part and then residential areas. The group comprised dog handlers with mine-sniffing dogs. The Russian specialists also used Uran-6 robotic systems.
Palmyra, an ancient city in Syria’s Homs province, had been controlled by Islamic State militants since May 2015 and was liberated by the Syrian army in late March 2016, with support from the Russian air group, which performed about 500 sorties, and special operations forces.