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Historic City Of Bamyan To Be Cleared Of All Mines

Historic City Of Bamyan To Be Cleared Of All Mines

The historic city of Bamyan will be cleared of landmines by October this year. A total of 1800 000 square metres of land contaminated with mines and Unexploded Ordinance (UXOs) will be cleared except for four sites which have been declared as cultural heritage sites by UNESCO and need to be cleared with the cooperation of archaeologists.

The news has been announced by the United Nations Mine Action Centre for Afghanistan (UNMACA).

486 de-mining personnel, most of them from Afghan Technical Consultants (ATC), an Afghan NGO, are working to clear Bamyan from landmines and UXOs. 104 anti-personnel mines and 169 UXOs have been found and destroyed since the beginning of April this year.

‘After receiving authorization from the Ministry of Information and Culture we will start clearing the four cultural heritage sites,’ added Mr. Abdul Qader Qayoumi the head of UNMACA in Bamyan.

Speaking to a group of local journalists Mr. Qayoumi said: ‘Next year the mine action programme of Afghanistan will start de-mining work in the Shibar, Saighan and Kahmard districts of Bamyan province.’

"Mine-related injuries have decreased by 70-80 percent this year thanks to the mine risk education programme being carried out in Bamyan," said Mohammad Rahim Malikzai a mine risk educator. More than 1,200 people have received mine risk education since April this year.

In a ceremony UNMACA handed over the areas surrounding the Sar-e-Asiab village to Government authorities and village elders after the area was cleared of landmines and UXOs. De-mining agencies were asked to clean the area after two children were wounded in the village. De-miners were able to detect and destroy eight anti-personnel mines and 20 UXOs.

‘Now our children can play safely in the village thanks to the de-miners,’ said a village elder.

-- By Homayon Khoram

Source: United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)


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