AfghanistanAsia-Pacific

Unexploded NATO munitions threatening lives of Afghans

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All these men are victims of unexploded ordnance. They’ve lost their legs or arms and now they often come to places like this one to get bionic limbs. But they are still very lucky. Over 40 people die here every month when they step on abandoned landmines.

Sediq Rashid is coordinating mine clearance operations.

He blames NATO for not fully cleaning up their military bases before their withdrawal. Sediq has told us that mines around US bases and shooting ranges have killed about 53 civilians since 2008. He knows where NATO forces operated. But his team still does not have enough information to find the unexploded weapons and defuse them.

But the NATO-led security mission-ISAF- insists that the safety of civilians is their highest priority. But they have not announced whether they will clear their abandoned military facilities from explosives to save the lives of local villagers.

According to the United Nations, 4 percent of this country’s population has been maimed by mines and bombs. Some of these mines date back to the civil war. And the rest are planted by the Taliban and foreign troops. Landmines have even forced people to flee their villages, most likely never to return.

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