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Mine Country

Civilian sappers risk their lives to clear ISIS mines in Libya

Mild mannered and unassuming elementary school music teacher Mahmoud, 42, devotes his spare time to a dangerous pursuit. He disarms unexploded ordnance in his native town, Benghazi. ISIS left many Libyan cities littered with mines, bombs and a wide range of improvised explosive devices. Fed up with seeing kids being killed, maimed and orphaned, Mahmoud volunteered for a military engineering unit and began clearing hidden explosives after work. Despite losing three toes and several good friends and colleagues in four years, this father to four young daughters is convinced that he’s confronting a problem that must be resolved.

Marei Abdulaziz Jibreel shares a similar story. As a long standing software engineer with the Central Bank of Libya, he could easily sit back and enjoy a comfortable life. Nevertheless, he too spends his free time making explosives safe. He might even be called away during work hours if a report comes through. On the question of responsibility for the situation in his country, Marei lays the blame squarely on the organization that greenlighted the military intervention which led to his country’s destruction. “It's your fault... the UN’s, that kids from all nations are dying ... are dying every day,” he says.

Mine Country on RTD; a detailed look at the lives of real heroes.

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