In what is probably the most extraordinary and hazardous circumstances ever faced by Australian soldiers, ninety-two combat engineers helped to clear minefields in the midst of an ongoing civil war.
Unarmed, dressed in mufti, disguised with beards and working through interpreters they helped to forge local expertise.
Adding to the risks they had only a medic on hand in the event of becoming the victim of a mine blast; and the nearest hospital was over a full day’s drive away.
How none of them were killed or injured is remarkable.
These Australian Army soldiers were working as part of a United Nations humanitarian mine clearance program in Pakistan and Afghanistan between 1989 and 1993.
They blazed a path for future humanitarian land mine clearance efforts around the world.
This book gives a revealing account of this little-known mission told by those that participated in it.
Contact Marcus Fielding about this article.