Monday, May 16, 2005

Landmines


(c) Roger Leo

The countryside is covered with landmines. Between 7 million and 9 million landmines are believed to have been deployed in Afghanistan, in a succession of wars. (That's out of a world inventory of 80 million landmines.) By 1999, 143 square kilometers of the country had been cleared; at that time 713 square kilometers remained to be cleared, but that area is increasing as more mined regions are discovered. In the Kabul Valley, travelers do not step off the hard road surfaces. And the landscape is dotted with rocks painted white -- safe, and red -- mines.

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