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Mine blast kills 5 Afghans in Helmand

Feb. 3, 2013 at 12:50 PM

KABUL, Afghanistan, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Four members of an Afghan family were killed this weekend by a land mine in Helmand province, authorities said.

The blast Saturday killed a total of five people and was the latest such explosion in a nation considered by human rights activists to be among the most mine-contaminated countries in the world, the Khaama Press said.

Khaama Press cited a recent Landmine and Cluster Munition Report, which estimated about 1 million mines were buried around Afghanistan.

Most of the ordnance dates back to the Soviet occupation of the 1980s; however, improvised explosive devices of more-recent vintage caused the majority of the casualties.

The most-recent statistics said 812 people were killed by mines in Afghanistan, 88 percent of which were attributed to IEDs.

The United States last week awarded a $30 million contract to remove mines and other unexploded ordnance associated with the many U.S. military bases scattered around Afghanistan.

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