Sunday, November 30, 2014

Old Landmines Still A Hazard

Afghanistan was once one of the most heavily mined countries in the world. Most of the mines were planted by the Mujihadeen during the Soviet occupation and many of these have since exploded or have been dug up by de-mining organizations such as HALO Trust. Some old minefields have yet to be discovered - this recently happened in a refugee camp recently setup in Gurbuz district, Khost province. This past summer the Pakistani Army conducted a massive sweep of North Wazirstan (part of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan along the Afghan border) to target the Tehrik-i-Taliban (Pakistani Taliban or "the bad Taliban). Over 100,000 refugees crossed over into neighboring Afghanistan to escape the fighting. While setting up the refugee camp it was discovered that parts of it were sitting on top of a minefield dating back to the Soviet occupation. Read more in "Finding Refuge on a Minefield", Foreign Policy Magazine, November 28, 2014.

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