KABUL (Pajhwok): Officials of Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) say that 1,016 people, mostly children, were killed and injured by landmines and IEDs countrywide last year.
QariNooruddinRostamkhel, in charge of demining coordination at ANDMA, made the remarks today, Thursday, in a meeting on the occasion of International Mine Awareness and Assistance Day in capital Kabul.
He said on average about 120 people were killed or injured due by landmines and IEDs in the countryevery month.
Over 20 square kilometers of land has been cleared in 20 provinces in the past seven months, he said, adding that in the last 30 years, 1,260,550 anti-personnel mines, 18,351,422 of unexploded ordnance and 1,264 hand grenades have been discovered and defused in the country.
During the clearing operations, 3,196 villages have been cleared and 606 square kilometers of land, which is registered in the national database, required demining, he said.
He said that over 1,000 landmine clearance workers were also killed in the last three decades.
Sharafuddin Muslim, deputy ANDMA head, said that there was currently no any security problem in the country and mine cleaning agencies should accelerate their operations in Afghanistan.
Mines are hidden enemy of all the people and should be eradicated jointly, he said.
People who have lost their organs in demining program should be financially supported by the relevant organizations, he added.
Muslim said that demining process had no association with politics and that the world should continue the process and their assistance in the area as in the past.
He said that the government supported demining programs and called on international organizations to increase their cooperation on the regard.
Mariana, head of Halo Trust, an international demining organization, said at the meeting that Afghanistan is one of the countries with most land mines that cause highest casualties.
She said that Halo Trust is working hard to save the lives of people and to cooperate with the Afghan government in the demining process.
She said that they want to work together with the Afghan government in conducting fundamental programs in the demining process.