... for persecution is worse than slaughter..(part of 2:191)
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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

After flood, landmines emerge in Pakistan.

unicef | November 09, 2010

KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA, Pakistan, 9 November 2010 -- Catastrophic flash floods have scarred the lives of Tayyab, 4, and his family in unimaginable ways. His father, Mohammad Aslam, is a small farmer in the remote village of Sadra Sharif, located in north-western Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.

In early August, as floodwaters receded in the village, Mr. Aslam went to the fields to assess the damage to his crops. "I saw this thing stuck in the crops and I brought it home out of curiosity," he remembers. "Not even for a moment did it cross my mind that I was bringing destruction to my family."

The receding waters have unearthed a lurking menace of unexploded ordnance and landmines in Pakistan. The floods carried the explosives into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from the mountains in neighbouring, conflict-stricken South Waziristan, one of the country's Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

"Sixteen cases have been reported during the last two months in flood-affected areas," says UNICEF Child Protection Officer Farman Ali. "Seven victims, including women and children, have been injured leading to amputation."

In response to the danger, UNICEF and its non-governmental partner, the Sustainable Peace and Development Organization, have expanded their mine-risk education (MRE) programme to flood-affected areas.