Colombo: A Sri Lankan soldier and a mine detection dog who worked in demining operations in the former war zones of the country`s north have been awarded by a US institute for their role in clearing the dangerous areas.
The Sri Lankan team has been selected as the best team for 2012 by the Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI) in the US, a statement from the government said today.
The team comprising of D K N Rohan and mine detectiom dog (MDD) Spartacus received the "MDD Team of the Year 2012" award at a ceremony held in Washington DC on October 10.
The MLI has gifted 26 mine detection dogs to the Sri Lanka Army`s humanitarian demining unit.
The award winning black Belgian Malinois MDD Spartacus arrived in Sri Lanka last year.
This was in order to accelerate the post conflict resettlement and rebuilding activities in the former conflict areas in the north.
The Army said that 80 per cent of the 5000 sq kms heavily mined by the LTTE have now been cleared.
Over 470,000 antipersonnel mines, 1400 anti-tank mines and 390,000 booby traps and improvised explosive devices have been removed since the war ended in May 2009, the Army said.