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Land Mines a Major Obstacle to Peace

January 26, 2002

One thing we should all recognize is that there can be no rehabilitation of Afghanistan while there are 8 million to 10 million land mines planted in the soil of that country. It has been estimated that the average mine costs about $3 to place underground--and about $1,000 to remove.

In Afghanistan hundreds of people are killed or maimed every month by mines. In addition, huge tracts of farmland and villages are unavailable for any normal kind of development. In the Kashmir, the Indian army is planting mines on an 1,800-mile border, in a swath about a mile and a half wide. Farmers there, too, are losing their acreage and any chance to stay employed.

In America's war on terrorism, we see that mines are not necessary. Yet the U.S. refuses to sign an international treaty banning mines. If Afghanistan is ever to be rebuilt, the problem of the mines already there must be solved.

Edward Handman

Laguna Woods

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