Militants' mines cause record casualties in Afghanistan: NGO

Salaam Times

GENEVA -- The conflict in Afghanistan is in part responsible for a record number worldwide land mine casualties in 2016, the worst year since documentation began in 1999, reported a Nobel Peace Prize-winning NGO Thursday (December 14).

Armed conflicts in Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine and Yemen led to 8,605 land mine casualties in 2016, including almost 2,100 deaths, according to the annual Landmine Monitor report published by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Afghanistan in 2016 had more casualties than any other country specifically caused by improvised mines -- another name for improvised explosive devices -- with 1,180 combined deaths and injuries.

"The use of improvised mines in Afghanistan is mainly attributed to the Taliban, Haqqani Network, and ['Islamic State of Iraq and Syria' (ISIS)]," according to ICBL.

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In this photograph taken June 2, 2016, the Salma Dam is seen at Chishti Sharif in Herat province, near the Iranian border. Iran, which considers the dam harmful to its interests, ordered the Afghan Taliban to attack such development projects. [Aref Karimi/AFP]

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