Attack in Afghanistan Kills 10 From Charity That Clears Land Mines

Washington’s peace envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, completed a four-day go to to Kabul on Tuesday. Mr. Khalilzad is an Afghan-born American diplomat who led negotiations forward of the Trump administration’s February 2020 peace deal with the Taliban, which laid out the situations and timeline for the American withdrawal.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul stated in a statement on Wednesday that American leaders met their Afghan counterparts in the town this week and “agreed that maintaining political unity was essential during this period of transition.”

The HALO Trust, a British charity with an American affiliate registered in Washington, started working in Afghanistan in 1988. Its subject groups clear land mines, eliminate unexploded ordnance discovered in bombs and bullets, and construct amenities to retailer weapons and different weapons safely. The group has packages in 26 international locations and territories, together with in Iraq, the place it started working in 2018.

The HALO program in Afghanistan, which began months earlier than the Soviet Army pulled out of the country in 1989, employs greater than 2,600 native workers members and stays the group’s largest operation in the world. HALO says on its web site that over the previous 30 years, it has labored with the Afghan authorities to make practically 80 p.c of the nation’s recorded minefields and battlefields secure.

Still, the group says, an space of Afghanistan as giant as Chicago nonetheless must be cleared.

Diana, Princess of Wales, known as consideration to HALO’s work in 1997, when she walked through a live minefield in Angola — as soon as house to one of many most heated Cold War conflicts in Africa — to spotlight the hazard of mines around the globe.

Diana’s youngest son, Prince Harry, retraced her steps in 2019 throughout a visit by way of the continent along with his spouse, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and their son. HALO stated on the time that it had cleared about 100,000 mines in Angola since Diana’s go to.

Najim Rahim reported from Kabul, Afghanistan, and Mike Ives from Hong Kong. Fatima Faizi contributed reporting from Kabul.

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