The struggle between reformers and religious conservatives has led to a continuing brain drain. Last year, 220,000 university trained scientists, engineers and managers left the country. The government said that it is unlikely that many of them would return. Reform is needed to get the economy going again, but religious opposition makes this difficult. On the Iraqi border, six soldiers were killed as work continued removing mines planted during the 1980-88 war with Iraq. So far, 1.9 million acres have been cleared, with over 300 soldiers and civilians killed in the process. Rebels, however, claim that the six soldiers were killed in a clash with the rebels. The government admits that there was a clash with rebels, and that five rebels were killed.