GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): Residents of southern Ghazni province are concerned about the existence of landmines and unexploded war remnants and urge the government and other relevant institutions to clear and destroy the explosives.
They say areas which were the scene of battles remain littered with landmines and other unexploded ordnance, which must be cleared.
Lahore, a resident of Godalo village of Andar district, told Pajhwok Afghan News that he lost his two children to an explosion caused by unexploded ordnance.
Shah Khan, a resident of Gulzar area of Nawur district, told Pajhwok unexploded items had killed two children of his family and injured two others.
According to Shah Khan, the existence of such items in the area always causes casualties to people and renders some of them disabled.
Munir, an activist, told Pajhwok the existence of landmines and other unexploded remnants of war posed a huge threat to people’s lives in Ghazni. He said many people had lost limbs to such explosions.
He said the hidden bombs had caused casualties to people in many areas of Ghazni province, particularly to women and children.
He urged the government and other relevant organizations to demine such areas and increase awareness among the people about the danger of unexploded ordnances.
He criticized demining organization the Halo Trust (HT) for stopping its works after a short period last winter.
However, Salahuddin, a provincial coordinator at HT, told Pajhwok it worked with the government and helped Da Afghanistan Breshna Shirkat (DABS) install new power pylons by clearing some areas of landmines and other ERWs
He said the mission to clear some areas of landmines took only 23 days in winter.
Salahuddin added: “This country, especially Ghazni province, witnessed many clashes in the past and still landmines and unexploded items remain in huge quantity, which needs attention”.
Meanwhile, provincial officials confirmed landmines and other explosive remnants of wars (ERWs) still threaten people’s lives in many areas.
Abu Khalid Sarhadi, spokesman of police headquarters, told Pajhwok that their information showed such explosives caused casualties to 16 persons in Waghaz, Deh Yak, Andar, Nawur, Qarabagh and Muqur districts during the past one year.
He said eight people were killed in the explosions and as many injured.
According to Sarhadi, people still fall prey to ERWs left behind by Russian forces and American forces.
He added: “Just a week ago, four landmines were discovered during the reconstruction of the Kabul-Kandahar highway and were neutralized. Two of the landmines belonged to Russia”.
He said such items used to appear during reconstruction works and the devices planted in agriculture lands and on roadsides had been forgotten.
He added: “This year, eight landmines were neutralized by engineering teams in Qalati, Kach Qala, Ashukano and Shahbaz areas”.
He urged relevant organizations to clear areas littered with landmines and other ERWs that threaten people’s lives.
Government officials and residents say Afghanistan has the highest number of landmines and other ERWs in the world left behind by parties to the decades-long conflict. These explosives are also an obstacle in the way of reconstruction of the country.