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Civilian victims from landmines triple since 2012: UN

KABUL: More than 1,415 Afghan civilians were killed or injured by landmines and explosive devices in 2018, making the number of war mine victims tripled since 2012, according to a survey by the United Nations.

The UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in a report said that the number of landmine victims has tripled since 2012. “Only in 2018, 1,415 Afghan civilians were killed or injured by these devices, some recently planted and others remnants of the war.”

Eight out of ten victims are children, the UN panel said at a meeting in Geneva.

The UN agency attributes the increase in fatalities to the ‘new contamination by anti-personnel weapons in the country,’ linked to the intensification of the conflict between government forces and the Taliban.

The escalation of clashes between the Afghan government and insurgents in recent months has complicated the work of the UN to clear mined areas, stated Patrick Fruchet, UNMAS Program Manager in Afghanistan.

Over the past 30 years, about 19 million mines and other explosives have been detected and deactivated throughout Afghanistan, according to the National Mine Detection Center (MDC).

Despite this, insurgents and government troops are fighting almost daily in Afghanistan, which is experiencing a long political and social crisis accentuated since 2001 by the invasion of the United States and its allies in the North Atlantic Organization.

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