Specialist equipment will help rid country of millions of Second World War land mines

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A Burwell company which builds specialist machines capable of clearing land mines has signed a major new contract with the Egyptian government.

Armtrac will build and supply two mine clearing vehicles for the North African state in a deal worth more than £1.6million.

The contract was signed by Egyptian ambassador Fathi El-Shazly and Steve Brown, managing director of Armtrac, last Tuesday in the Egyptian Embassy, in the presence of Lucy Frazer, MP for South East Cambridgeshire.

According to Armtrac, there are more than 20 million land mines in Egypt, in the area from Alexandria to the border with Libya, laid by the allies and German troops during the Second World War.

Since 1981, when records began, there have been more than 8,000 victims of land mine explosions, including 800 deaths.

The Egyptian government hopes to clear the region of mines to allow for agriculture and resettlement.

Armtrac, based in Reach Road, designs and manufactures directly operated and remotely controlled mine clearing equipment to help clear land mines in current and former war-zones, including Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq, as well as for the clearance of Ministry of Defence firing ranges in the UK.

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