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Landmine blast kills 10 young girls

A suspected obsolete landmine has killed 10 young girls in the east of Afghanistan.

The girls, aged between nine and 13, were gathering firewood outside Dawlatzai village in Nangarhar province's Chaperhar district when the explosion went off, according to Mohammad Seddiq, the government administrator for the district.

Police think the device was an unexploded mine that had been laid years ago and was triggered somehow as the girls walked through the open field. At least one other old mine was found nearby.

Two more girls were seriously wounded and are in critical condition at a hospital.

Afghanistan remains one of the most heavily landmined countries in the world despite years of clearing operations. Many mines are left in rural areas from the 1990s and discovered only when they are triggered accidentally.

Meanwhile a car bomb exploded outside of a compound housing a US military contractor in the Afghan capital Kabul, blowing apart an exterior wall and wounding dozens inside.The blast sent a plume of smoke up in the air and shook windows more than a mile away in the city centre.

The security officer for Contrack, a US-based company that builds facilities for military bases, said a suicide attacker drove a vehicle packed with explosives up to the exterior wall of the compound and detonated the bomb.

A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack saying it was a suicide car bomber who targeted the compound because it was company working with the government.


From Belfast Telegraph