Munitions at Bagram Air Field range killing, maiming villagers

By Published: May 26, 2012

At Bagram Air Field, the largest U.S. base in Afghanistan, leftover munitions on an unmarked firing range are causing death and irrevocable human damage to locals who often search the area for scrap metal, reports The Washington Post.

In addition to children looking for scrap metal, herders and farmers who live at adjacent villages have been hurt or killed while traversing the East River Range.

According to the story, the U.S. military declined to construct a fence around the range citing the cost.

An excerpt from the story:

In the villages around Bagram Airfield — Qalai Ahmad Khan and Bini Warsak — residents with amputated legs and arms are a common sight. Dozens of live U.S. 40mm grenades — designed to kill on impact — are scattered on the ground a few hundred yards from residents’ mud-brick homes, in an expanse busy with life and industry. The same problem exists at several other NATO firing ranges across the country, which also lack fencing. But nowhere else is it as serious as Bagram, according to Mine Action Coordination Center of Afghanistan (MACCA).

In the past three years, 11 people have been killed on the range but officials say that figure is only a fraction of the overall number injured.

Another excerpt from the story:

“This is our home. This is where we’ve been told to live. The Americans say it would be too expensive to build a fence. Do they know how much a human life is worth?” said Abdul Hadiq, who works in the community’s association of disabled residents.

Source: The Washington Post

U.S. soldiers look on as Afghan National Army soldiers zero their weapons during basic rifle marksmanship training on Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, Feb. 11, 2009.


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