Unexploded landmines left over from wars threaten lives in Helmand

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LASHKARGAH (SW) – A number of Helmand residents told Salam Watandar that the mines and unexploded ammunition left over from the wars of the past years continue to threaten their lives.

Abdulbari, a resident of Sarkar area in the east of Lashkargah city, said that the landmines left over from past wars have caused many problems for the residents of this area.

He added that when he and one of his friends were driving through the city, they encountered a mine and as a result of its explosion, his friend was killed and he was injured.

“There are mines, rocket shells and other unexploded ordnance everywhere,” he said. “One of the residents of this place pulled out a mine from the side of a collapsed wall a few days ago. My fellow villager and I stepped on the mine. As a result of its explosion, my fellow villager was killed and I was injured.”

Residents of “Sarkar” area also complain about the existence of mines and various unexploded ammunition inside their place of residence. They say that they still cannot go to their fields and destroyed houses with confidence.

Gul Ahmad, another resident of Sarkar area, said: “Many mines and unexploded ammunition are still here. We cannot go around with confidence, there is still too much risk. Our wish is that our area be cleared of mines.”

In addition to Sarkar area in Lashkargah city, there are many other areas in Helmand where wartime landmines remain and make daily life difficult.

Mohammad Qasim Riaz, Deputy Director of Information and Culture in Helmand, said in this regard that they have started efforts to inform people and neutralize mines with the cooperation of a number of organisations.

“Mine-clearing institute works to find and neutralize explosive ammunition and save people’s lives in Helmand. In addition, the Helmand Security Command also has a special department in this field that cooperates with these institutions.”

It should be noted that the Ministry of Disaster Management said a few days ago that landmines left over from past wars in the country leave an average of 120 dead and wounded every month.