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Land Mine Explosion Claims Lives of Nine Children in Eastern Afghanistan

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In a tragic incident reported from the eastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan, at least nine children lost their lives after discovering an old land mine near their village and innocently playing with it, as confirmed by a Taliban spokesperson on Monday.

Incident Details

The land mine, believed to be from decades ago, was found near their village in Ghazni’s Gero district, according to Hamidullah Nisar, director of the Taliban’s information and culture department in Ghazni. The explosion occurred on Sunday, resulting in the deaths of five boys and four girls aged between 5 to 10 years old.

Persistent Danger in Afghanistan

Afghanistan, plagued by decades of conflict and war, remains highly perilous for children, many of whom collect scrap metal to support their families. Tragically, incidents involving unexploded ordnance often result in the death or injury of these vulnerable individuals.

Urgent Call for Action

The United Nations in Kabul highlighted the alarming toll of civilian casualties, including women and children, caused by landmines and explosive remnants of war. It stressed the necessity for concerted efforts to protect Afghan civilians who have endured the consequences of protracted conflict.

Background and Ongoing Challenges

Afghanistan has witnessed prolonged periods of turmoil, including civil war in the 1990s and subsequent insurgencies. Despite the withdrawal of foreign forces, remnants of conflict persist, posing grave risks to civilian lives.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) underscored the urgent need to address weapon contamination in Afghanistan, citing a significant number of child casualties due to landmine explosions and explosive remnants. According to ICRC reports, between January 2022 and June 2023, 640 children were killed or injured in 541 incidents related to explosive remnants of war.

The incident serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and the imperative to prioritize efforts to ensure the safety and security of its vulnerable populations.

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