The number of deaths and injuries resulting from landmine explosions fell to an all-time low in 2013, a report from Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor has revealed.

Called Landmine Monitor 2014, the report indicates that the number of casualties caused by mines and other explosive remnants of war dropped to 3,308 in 2013, the lowest since the group started recording casualties in 1999 and nearly one-quarter fewer than 2012.

The group recorded an average of nine victims each day.

Landmine Monitor casualties and victim assistance editor Megan Burke said: "While far too many people are still losing their lives and limbs to landmines, new casualties are at their lowest level ever recorded, [which is] possibly the best measure of how successful the Mine Ban Treaty has been."

The report did not find any confirmed use of landmines by a member of the Mine Ban Treaty from September 2013 to October 2014, apart the one by Yemen in 2011.

However, the findings were unable to confirm media reports that anti-personnel mines have been used in the ongoing conflict between pro-Russia rebels and the Ukrainian Government, which is a state party to the treaty.

Similar to its 2013 report, Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor claimed that Syrian and Myanmar government forces used anti-personnel mines in the reporting period, along with the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

In addition, instances of anti-personnel mines or victim-activated improvised explosive devices were found in Afghanistan, Colombia, Libya, Myanmar, Pakistan, Syria, and Yemen.

"While far too many people are still losing their lives and limbs to landmines, new casualties are at their lowest level ever recorded."

According to the report, more than 48 million stockpiled anti-personnel mines have been destroyed since 1999 and only six of the total 162 states signed up to the treaty are yet to complete the destruction of their stockpiles.

Approximately 56, including 32 treaty members, and Kosovo, Nagorno-Karabakh, Somaliland, and Western Sahara, are believed to have hazardous anti-personnel landmine contaminated areas.

Mine-clearance and area-release programmes are currently underway in several countries, including Afghanistan, Cambodia, and Croatia.

Monitor initiative programme manager and Landmine Monitor 2014 final editor Jeff Abramson said: "Sustained levels of international funding remains vital as mine-impacted countries continue striving to clear their last minefields and to assist landmine victims."

At the third review conference of the Mine Ban Treaty in June 2014 in Maputo, Mozambique, all states parties agreed to the goal of a mine-free world by 2025.

Image: A US Army engineer clears a minefield near Fallujah, Iraq. Photo: courtesy of Spc Derek Gaines.

Defence Technology