With about one accident for every 1,000 landmines cleared, mine hunters will appreciate a German device in the works.

Scientists at Clausthal Technical University have developed a device that uses a powerful laser beam to help mine hunters determine what’s a landmine and what’s junk.

The device, which can be mounted on the sticks mine hunters use to prod soil, emits a pulse of laser light that creates plasma on the surface of explosives. It then analyzes flashes of light for telltale signs of landmines.

About 70 million live landmines are scattered around the world, says the UN, causing a humanitarian crisis that kills about 2,000 people each month.

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