In Remembrance: Afghan Deminers Killed by Roadside Bomb

by Cory Kuklick [ Center for International Stabilization and Recovery ]

Five Afghan deminers working for the De-mining Agency for Afghanistan were killed when the bus they were traveling in was struck by a roadside bomb in Kandahar province on 14 April 2010. Thirteen others were injured. It is unclear whether the explosion was random or targeted against DAFA, a U.S.-supported demining group.

Following the attack, Afghan President Hamid Karzai called on Taliban insurgents to voice their grievances instead of resorting to violence, and reiterated his standing invitation to meet with any insurgent who renounces terrorism. Roadside bombs are common instruments of violence used by the Taliban in a country that has experienced near-continuous warfare for the past 25 years.

DAFA is a non-governmental agency, founded in 1990 and specializing in landmine clearance in the southern and western regions of Afghanistan. Following the explosion, the Special Representative to the Secretary-General of the United Nations issued a statement condemning the incident. “I deplore this attack on these courageous people who for years have devoted their lives to making Afghanistan safer for all,” he said in a news release, stressing the fact that mine action is a neutral humanitarian activity. j