By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: Taliban have newly planted landmines in over 400 sq km lands across the country during the past two years, said State Ministry for Disaster Management Affairs (SMDMA). Newly planted areas are mostly located in insecure parts of the country.
It was due the Afghanistan to reach its deadline of a mine-free Afghanistan status by 2023, but contamination of over 400sq-km new lands, may hamper the country achieve the goal.
“More than 400 sq km land was contaminated with landmines and Explosive Remnants of War by Taliban over the past two years in various parts of the country” Omar Mohammadi, director of international relations and spokesperson for the State Ministry for Disaster Management told Afghanistan Times.
He said that the newly 400 sq km contaminated lands with mine and IEDs located in 17 insecure provinces.
Helmand, Uruzgan, Farah, Kunduz and Baghlan provinces were among the 17 provinces which newly contaminated by land mines, he added.
According to report the Afghan government assigned target to clean 600 sq km land, which were contaminated with land mines and explosive devices during Soviet Union raid by 2023.
Although government pledge to clean the area, but the 400 sq-km lands, which newly contaminated with mines and explosive devices has made the achieving of the target more difficult
Mohammadi said that considering additional 400 sq-km lands newly contaminated, currently there is a total of nearly 1,000 sq km land with mines and explosive devices.
He said that if the government was not provided with enough fund and support by the international community, national organs won’t be able to achieve the goal and lead the country toward a free of mines country by 2023.
More than $700 million is needed to achieve the goal toward the mine-free Afghanistan by the year of 2023, he added.