RealNews

UN Halts Some Afghan Demining After Attacks

The United Nations said on Thursday it had suspended mine clearance operations along parts of a key highway linking the Afghan capital with the south of the country after two attacks on deminers in the last week. On May 3, gunmen shot and killed the driver of a car belonging to a local demining agency in Wardak province on the main Kabul to Kandahar road, and wounded one of the passengers. Two days later six gunmen stopped a car belonging to a U.N.-funded demining agency further south on the same road, opening fire on the Afghan staff after finding no foreigners in the car, the U.N. Mine Action Center said in a press release. Two deminers were wounded in that attack on Monday evening but were not rescued from the roadside until the following morning because of insecurity. ‘This is one of the most severe examples of violence against the program in the last 13 years of operations,’ U.N. mine action country manager Dan Kelly said. ‘And we feel we have no choice but to protect deminers from future violent attacks by ceasing operations in areas that are not +adequately patrolled and secured.’ Full Story

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