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Land mines in Iran claim three more victims


Source: Radio Zamaneh

In the past month, three people have fallen victim to land mine explosions in the Kurdistan regions of Iran.

Photos: Clearing the Mine Fields in Dehloran, Iran

Zamaneh has been informed that Loghman Yousefi was killed by a land mine in Kermanshah Province. Kurdistan regional media also report that on March 24 two children under the age of 10 suffered injuries to their the eyes and hands after running into a land mine.

In February, five workers at the National Oil Company of Iran were also injured by land mine explosions in the area.

Iranian authorities rarely release statistics and information about land mine victims and incidents. Last month, the Welfare Office's prevention centre announced that in 2009, 104 people fell victim to land mine explosions.

The head of the centre told ISNA that Iran is the world's second-most contaminated country in terms of land mines and it has not taken effective action to overcome the problem.

Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian Nobel Peace laureate, expressed surprise in an interview with Zamaneh about the latest statistics on land mine explosions released by Islamic Republic authorities, saying that so far the government would rather deny any problem and attribute explosions to cleaning operations.

There are reportedly 12.8 million land mines spread across four Iranian border provinces, which adds up to one mine for each resident of these four provinces.

The mines were planted during the eight-year Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s.

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