The Colombian army plans to issue its soldiers state-of-the-art, bomb-proof boots in order to provide extra protection from landmines, which have claimed the lives of 8,000 people in the last 20 years.
Although the protective footwear is still in the experimental stage of development, the military hopes that the boots will reduce the number of casualties caused by the unconventional weapons, reports El Espectador.
Lieutenant Efrain Alfonso Quiroga of the Juanas battalion said that the army had been researching materials capable of withstanding explosions and the gasses produced from landmines.
The aim is to “avoid the mutilation of the foot” and to “reduce the effects caused by lacerations and shrapnel from the explosions” according to Quiroga.
Between 2007 and 2009, 1,638 soldiers and 742 civilans were injured from exploding landmines.
In December 2009, the U.S. State Department set out a plan to donate $2.8 million to help rid Colombia of landmines, on top of the $8.5 million the U.S has been giving since 2005