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Italy Wednesday banned the production, sale or export of anti-personnel land mines and said its armed forces would destroy most of their existing stocks.

Parliament approved a law ordering manufacturers to deliver mines already produced to the Defense Ministry or face fines. The armed forces will destroy virtually all the 200,000 land mines in their possession, leaving only 10,000 to be used for training in the dismantling of the weapons.

In Norway last month, 100 countries agreed to a draft treaty outlawing anti-personnel mines. The treaty is due to be signed in Ottawa, Ont., in December, but the United States and China have so far refused to back it.

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