NATO Leaves Live Munitions Behind at Abandoned Afghan Bases


Jay Price
McClatchy
August 1, 2013

The U.S.-led military coalition in Afghanistan has agreed to do a better job of cleaning up deadly unexploded munitions from its bases and firing ranges as it closes them down after the U.N. accused the coalition of leaving dangerous explosives behind, a coalition spokesman wrote Wednesday in an emailed statement.

The International Security Assistance Force also will re-examine bases that already have been demolished to make certain unexploded ordnance hasn’t been left behind, the spokesman said.

So-called “explosive remnants of war” have emerged in the past few months as an increasing danger to civilians, in particular children. In the first half of the year, nearly 150 people were killed or injured when such munitions detonated, according to a report issued Wednesday by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, or UNAMA. That’s a jump of 53 percent from the same period in 2012. Nearly 80 percent of the victims were children.

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