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In Brief: Afghan Interior Ministry condemns killing of deminers

KABUL, 13 July 2011 (IRIN) - The brutal killing of four deminers in Afghanistan's western province of Farah should not deter Afghans from supporting efforts to rid the country of landmines and other explosive remnants of war, Sediq Sediqi, a spokesperson for the Interior Ministry, told IRIN.

Thirty-one people, among them 20 deminers, were abducted “by the Taliban or other militants”, according to the Sediqi, while working in Shamalga village, Balabuluk District, on 6 July 2011. Four deminers were later killed, and 27 people released after negotiations between tribal elders and the militants, local government officials said.

In April five deminers from the same organization (Demining Agency For Afghanistan - DAFA) were killed when their bus hit a roadside bomb in the southern province of Kandahar.

DAFA head Abdul Satar told IRIN the agency’s operations had been suspended in Farah and that he was uncertain if the deminers, who are paid US$200 a month, would be willing to return to work.

According to the Mine Action Coordination Center of Afghanistan (MACCA), 40 deminers have lost their lives in various incidents since April 2010.


Copyright © IRIN 2011
This material comes to you via IRIN, the humanitarian news and analysis service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the United Nations or its Member States.
IRIN is a project of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

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