CASE STUDY: EXPLOSIVE REMNANTS OF WAR (ERW) INJURES TWO BOYS IN NORTH OF KABUL PROVINCE
Naser Ahmad explains what happened to him.
Naser Ahmad, “I was doing my school assignments when my younger brother Esmatullah came with a bullet in his hand and said, “I found this under the grapevines in the courtyard”. I immediately stopped writing and was curious, looking at what Esmat had found. I noticed it was an unexploded ordnance, and we together decided to play with it. Telling no one else about it, I went to the washroom where I knew the pliers and hammer were kept. With the help of the pliers, I was able to remove its fuse. Then, I put a nail into the small hole on the bottom of it and started hammering it.”
“It was then that my eyes and ears stopped working for a while, and when I was able to open my eyes and look at what had happened, I could only see blood everywhere. We both were shouting and crying, when my mother and other family members came and hugged us. After that, due to severe pain, I don’t know what else took place.”
“When I opened my eyes for the second time, I was in the hospital and noticed I didn’t have my left hand anymore. There were some small injuries on the rest of my body. This made me very disappointed and my tears started falling. I turned to look at my brother; I noticed he had only a few minor injuries, which made me relieved.”
Naser’s father says, “When my wife went to the hospital to see her sons, she saw that Naser had lost his hand, which made her cry. Naser was asking his mom to stop crying.” He further adds, “Naser told his mom, ‘See? I still have my right hand, so I can still go to school and write. It’s okay.”
Naser’s father appreciated the Mine Action Programme of Afghanistan’s efforts, and added, “Mine/ERW risk education should be boosted. It should be regular and not just a once-off. Annual campaigns should take place covering all villages of the country so that such incidents do not happen again.” He went on, “It’s good that my sons are both alive, although looking at Naser’s hand upsets me very much, but I don’t want such sorrow for other vulnerable Afghans.” He further added, “It is not easy to face such situations, I couldn’t even imagine this happening to us, but now I know better how broad this mine/ERW problem is in our country and how dangerous it can be.”
This incident took place on 31st October 2013 at approximately 3:00 pm, when an unexploded anti-aircraft exploded in a house in Qala-e-Yusuf village in Qarabagh district. The interview was conducted by Noorullah Elham, Senior Public Information Officer at the Mine Action Coordination Centre of Afghanistan.