IEDs continue posing threat to Afghans

Kabul, April 6 (IANS) Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and the explosive remnants of war (ERW) kill or maim more than 120 people in Afghanistan every month, authorities said.

“The home-made IEDs and ERW, including unexploded ordnance (UXO) and abandoned explosive ordnance (AXO), kill or maim more than 120 Afghans every month,” Xinhua news agency quoted the State Ministry for Disaster Management (SMDM) said in a statement on Monday.
The statement was issued in the wake of the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, which falls on April 4 every year.
Taliban militants and other insurgent groups in the country have been using IEDs to target security forces, but the lethal weapons also inflict casualties on civilians, according to the statement.
“The figures suggest that more than 60 per cent of the monthly casualties were from IEDs,” it said.
“Unprecedented increase in civilians’ casualties from landmines, unexploded ordnance, the legacy of the past wars and IEDs are a matter of concern.”
Afghans continue to bear the brunt of armed conflicts as more than 3,400 civilians were killed and over 6,900 others injured in 2019, according to the figures released by the UN mission in the country.
Out of the total casualties, more than 880 civilians were killed and over 3,450 others wounded in suicide and non-suicide IED explosions in 2019.
Monday’s statement acknowledged that “it was impossible to have Afghanistan free of mine without international support”.
The Mine Action Program for Afghanistan (MAPA) has cleaned some 56 square km of land from landmines and explosive ordnance over the past 11 months, in the wake of challenges including inaccessibility of some regions and lack of budget, it added.