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Afghanistan: new rise in mine-blast victims in Kabul

17-05-1995 News Release 20

Mines and unexploded shells continue to take their toll of victims in Kabul, two months after the intense bout of fighting in the Afghan capital came to an end. More than 80 people - most of them civilians - were wounded in April in incidents along the former front lines. During the first three months of the year, the monthly figure for mine-blast victims in Kabul was one third lower than in recent weeks. This rise in the number of mine-related accidents is due to the fact that civilians are now going back to sections of the city that had been inaccessible for a long time because of the fighting, and there are still a great many explosive devices lying around. The problem is undoubtedly compounded by the fact that tens of thousands of people - many of whom are unaware of these new hazards - have been returning to Kabul over the last few weeks. In cooperation with mine-clearance organizations, the ICRC has alerted the Kabul city authorities to the danger. Billboards have been put up warning people not to go into areas that have not yet been cleared.

In 1994, the four hospitals receiving ICRC support within the context of the Afghan conflict  admitted 1,092 mine casualties for treatment.