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Once a mine field is identified, one must determine which type of mines are present in it. This knowledge is essential to train the demining operators in the techniques to identify mines they find and the procedure for neutralising each kind. If booby-trapped mines are present, special care must be taken to identify them and circumvent the booby-traps or destroy them in place.

Microprocessor-based “smart mines” which can be programmed, for example, to explode only after a certain number of people have passed, distinguish between animals, vehicles, and people, and coordinate an ambush by a series of mines, were used by the Red Army in Afghanistan. They represent a tiny, but growing percentage of mines in the ground. Some smart mines incorporate self-destruct or neutralisation capability, which may actually aid clearance efforts.