A Retrospective Demographic and Clinicopathologic Review of Deaths Resulting from Minefield Explosions During Migrants’ Attempts to Enter Greece from Turkey Between 1997 and 2008

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Abstract

Until 2008, the easternmost land borders of the European Union (Greek-Turkish land zone) were planted with minefields spanning 11 km. Therefore, numerous fatalities occurred in peacetime as migrants attempted to avoid Greek border checks. Numerous fatal incidents (51) were detected inside the Greek minefields between 1997 and 2008. Determination of age, sex, time of death, and nationality were evaluated in every case. The injuries’ anatomical dispersion, their severity, and the mechanism of death were examined in relation to the victims’ position at the moment of the explosion. Data research indicated that all victims were male, aged 18–30 in their majority, crossing border minefields mainly during the night. Their distance and position in relation to the point of detonation was a key factor in the trauma localization and severity. This review highlights the devastating consequences of the residual mines during peacetime, a situation that continues to be a persistent international problem.

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