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Wednesday, 10 May, 2000, 11:49 GMT 12:49 UK
Sir Paul's landmine crusade
Sir Paul McCartney
Fighting for the cause: Sir Paul McCartney
Sir Paul McCartney has joined the worldwide campaign to ban landmines.

The former Beatle became involved in the project after seeing the work his girlfriend Heather Mills has done to help people injured by the hidden weapons.

He is supporting the Adopt-A-Minefield scheme, in which campaigners sponsor an area of land to be cleared.

Sir Paul has just returned from the United States, where he and Mills met President Bill Clinton's advisers to discuss the problem.
Heather Mills
Long-time supporter: Heather Mills has helped thousands of landmine victims

He told the Daily Express: "I want to do what I can to re-awaken people's consciousness.

"This is a very serious issue that we should all try to do something to sort out."

Landmines cause death and injury to thousands of people each year and charities such as The Red Cross and The International Campaign to Ban Landmines have joined forces with the United Nations in the fight to see them outlawed.

The profile of the campaign was raised when Diana, Princess of Wales publicly lent her support and Sir Paul's involvement has been welcomed.



A worldwide ban is not going to happen overnight, so it's going to be a long haul.

Sir Paul McCartney

He said: "It's all the more important when you realise more than 80 per cent of the victims are women and children.

"A worldwide ban is not going to happen overnight, so it's going to be a long haul."

The Adopt-A-Minefield scheme costs around $25,000-$30,000. (15,000-19,000). That buys the sponsor one minefield and pays for it to be cleared.

Sir Paul's press spokesman, Geoff Baker, told BBC News Online: "He is keen to help, but who wouldn't be?"

He added that Heather had been involved with the campaign for several years and was "very pro-active".

Former model Heather, who lost one of her legs in a road accident, has been actively involved in the supply of artificial limbs to 27,000 landmine victims across the world.

Details of her relationship with Sir Paul became public earlier this year and the musician appealed to the media to give them space.

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See also:

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