Landmine Removal Underway Historic Afghan City of Ghazni

By Epoch Times Staff
Epoch Times Staff
Epoch Times Staff
August 27, 2010 Updated: August 27, 2010

Efforts are underway to clear 9 of 48 known minefields in the east central Afghan city of Ghazni before the city is officially designated the Islamic center of civilization.

The removal began earlier this month funded by the Canadian Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Action, managed by U.N. Mine Action Service. The nongovernmental Afghan humanitarian organization OMAR, will clear the nine fields in preparation for the 2013 designation by the Islamic Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), according to a press release by the U.N.

OMAR will deploy eight manual teams, one mechanical team, a mine detection dog, and an explosive disposal team.

The 48 identified minefields cover six square kilometers (2.3 square miles) in the center of Ghazni. The mines injure and kill residents, and make building on or farming the land impossible.

The OMAR project will remove mines in seven communities. Including from important shrines and monuments.

If more funding is secured, 12 more demining teams will clear the remaining known fields in the next two years.

“I am pleased that the work is now under way to clear the archaeologically and culturally rich city of Ghazni,” said Maxwell Kerley, the director of the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), in the release.

He appealed to donors to "Contribute further to this important work so that the families of Ghazni can, for the first time in 30 years, live free from the threat of landmines and other explosive remnants of war.”