UN reports Taliban attacks on anti-landmine non-governmental organizations

UN reports Taliban attacks on anti-landmine non-governmental organizations

Attacks on personnel working to remove deadly landmines from Afghanistan are on the rise, a United Nations spokesperson reported today.

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working with the UN Mine Action Programme for Afghanistan "are increasingly being attacked by Taliban authorities," spokesperson Stephanie Bunker told reporters in Islamabad.

She said staff had been beaten in Kabul, Jalalabad and Kandahar. "The Taliban in Kandahar have taken a significant number of mine action vehicles," said Ms. Bunker, adding that this development came on the heels of yesterday's report of the Taliban take-over of three mine action ambulances and one pick-up truck.

The spokesperson also released details on the four security guards working for a UN-funded mine action effort who were killed in the bombing of Kabul on Monday. Safiaullah, age 33, is survived by his wife, four children and two parents; Naseer Ahmed, 28, is survived by his wife and his parents; Najeebullah, age 33, is survived by his wife and five children; and Abdul Saboor, 26, was supporting his two parents and four brothers and sisters.