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Gas tank explosion in Afghanistan kills nine children, wounds four others

By Rich Klein
Gas tank explosion in Afghanistan kills nine children, wounds four others
Afghan Army soldiers patrol in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, in 2020. On Monday, an unexploded mortar shell blew up a food cart, killing nine children. File Photo by Ghulamullah Habibi/EPA-EFE

Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Nine children were killed and four others were wounded in Afghanistan on Monday in an explosion near the Pakistan border.

The blast occurred when a food cart with a gas tank reportedly struck an unexploded mortar shell, according to a report in Daily Mail India.

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The Interior Ministry of Afghanistan said the explosion happened near a school in the Lalpora district in the eastern Nangarhar province.

A 2021 midyear report by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan issued in July revealed that the use of indirect weapons -- mainly mortars and artillery -- continued to cause more than 60% of ground engagement civilian casualties in Afghanistan.

"Women and children continued to suffer disproportionately from the use of these weapons in populated areas, comprising nearly two-thirds of civilian casualties from indirect fire during ground engagements, mainly from the munition impacting them while they took shelter in their homes," the UN report said.

According to a 2020 "Landmine Monitor" report by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munitions, landmines and explosive remnants are "an enduring legacy of conflict" despite cessation of hostilities or peace agreements.

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This article has been updated to correct the name of the organization that compiled the "Landmine Monitor" report.

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