Explosives kill, maim 120 in Afghanistan every month

An average of 120 Afghans are killed or maimed by explosives including landmines every month in the war-torn country, authorities said.

“An average of 120 people, including children are killed or maimed by unexploded ordnance and landmines, every month, however the figure was 40 a month in 2001,” the Directorate of Mine Action Coordination of Afghanistan (DMAC) said in a statement on Sunday.

According to DMAC, about 900 Afghans were killed and 1,700 others wounded as a result of landmines and unexploded ordnance explosions in 2020, with un-combatants making up 30 per cent of the total casualties, Xinhua news agency reported citing the statement as saying.

Despite efforts to clear the areas, more than 1,600 square km of land across the country is still contaminated with mines and unexploded ordnance, while 37 square km of land has been cleared last year, the statement added.

“More than 170,000 mines and unexploded ordnance have also been collected and defused over the same period,” said the statement, blaming war and violence for adding to the still un-demined areas.

Taliban militants and other insurgent groups in the country have been using home-made improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to make roadside bombs and landmines to target security forces, but the lethal weapons also inflict casualties on civilians.