Taliban reports 37 killed by unexploded ordnance in first quarter

KABUL, Afghanistan — Taliban officials said Thursday, on the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance, that unexploded ordnance and mines have led to 37 deaths and 71 injuries in Afghanistan in the first three months of this year.

According to Taliban figures, there were 61 incidents involving mines and unexploded ordnance during this period.

Taliban figures indicate that last year, unexploded ordnance and mine explosions killed 174 individuals, including 27 women, and injured 390, with 79 women among the casualties.

The statistics also show that in the past year, 90 square kilometers across 119 districts in Afghanistan were cleared of mines.

In the latest quarter, an additional 8 square kilometers have been cleared. During these clearance efforts, 80 anti-personnel mines, 400 handmade mines, and 11,852 other explosives were discovered and destroyed, Taliban said.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Afghanistan has reported that from January 2022 to February 2024, landmines and explosive remnants of war have killed or injured at least 1,401 people in the country.

According to the Costs of War Project, the conflict in Afghanistan resulted in the deaths of 176,000 people from 2001 to August 2021. This total includes 46,319 civilians, 69,095 military and police personnel, and at least 52,893 opposition fighters.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) reports that the Taliban and other anti-government elements were responsible for the majority of civilian casualties annually, with their share ranging from 61% to 80%, varying by year.