Afghanistan has a high number of the victims by the landmines, roadside bombs and other unexploded explosive devices. The explosives are used by different hostile groups to apparently target their rivals, which usually claim the lives of innocent civilians who take no part in the conflicts.
The founder of these hidden enemies of Afghan people was the then Soviet Union’s Red Army who invaded the country in 1979 and subsequently started a 10-year long war with the Mujahideen. The Soviet army used landmines as an important weapon to prevent the guerrillas’ advance to their bases or out posts. Some 30 million landmines were planted in every part of Afghanistan by the Soviet troops, according to international reports, a number that was double of the country’s population at the time (the population of Afghanistan was nearly 17 million).
The army who had come to help the Afghan people, left thousands of the unexploded devices besides of thousands of the people killed or disabled by the devices as its heritage when it withdrew in 1989.
Since then, these ordnances turned into a big but hidden threat to the lives of the people, killing and injuring Afghans in the cities and villages every day. Even there was a citation of the Soviet officers: “We fought in Afghanistan for 10 years and left our weapons to fight for 10 more years.”
Though it was not an official statement, but proved the idea more than that as Afghans still suffer from these mines half of which was used by the Mujahideen rival groups as well as the Taliban fighters against each other.
Taliban and other armed opposition groups are following the Soviet army’s tactics against the civilians, and using even more sophisticated explosive devices such as powerful roadside mines and magnetic bomb that are easily attached to the vehicles.
Several mine clearance organizations are busy to demine the country since the withdrawal of the Soviet troops, but the number of the victims of this enemy increases, not decreases.
The tragedy is that 90 per cent of the victims of landmines and roadside bombs are civilians, including women and children. Passenger buses or other civilian vehicles hit the mines, shepherds at the mountain skirts and children on the way to school are the targets of this coward enemy.
A large part of the people is killed or disabled by the landmines and nobody cares of them.