MADAIN SHAHR (Pajhwok): Residents of central Maidan Wardak province say landmines and other unexploded ordnance still threaten the lives of people, especially children.
Rahim Jan, a resident of Lalandar village in Daimardad district, told Pajhwok that many agricultural land and roads remained littered with landmines and unexploded ordnance, sometimes taking children’s lives.
“We cannot walk fearlessly in areas which were used as security posts in the past conflict due to the existence of explosive remnants of war, which must be cleared”.
Abdul Rahim, a resident of Haft Asiyab area of Saidabad district, said the Kabul-Kandahar highway had been the scene of fierce battles in the past and all kinds of weapons and ammunition were used.
He recalled during the war, people would not cultivate lands near the highway, but now as the war had ended, the threat of landmines remained.
He said several children had lost their lives in blasts caused by unexploded devices and people were worried about it. He asked the government to send demining teams to the area.
Khurram Dil, a resident of Chak district, said various demining teams were working in the areas, but still unexploded ordnance continued to kill children.
He said: “Both sides of the war left behind huge quantity of unexploded ordnance, which could not be cleared in a long time”.
However, provincial officials said they had meetings with demining teams and their aim was to clear all areas of the province from unexploded ordnance.
Maidan Wardak governor Qari Bakhtiar Maaz told Pajhwok the government had hired professionals to remove unexploded ordnance in all districts of the province.
He said: “Efforts are underway in this regard, we are trying to focus on areas which were frontlines of the war.”
Maidan Wardak police spokesman Yusuf Israr said four incidents of explosions caused by unexploded ordnance occurred in the province in May, killing five children, including a girl, and injuring four others.