2021: Anti-Personnel Mine Explosions in Kurdistan - A Statistical Report

Hengaw: In 2021, intact anti-personnel mines killed or injured at least 43 civilians and workers in

08 February 2022 19:39


Hengaw: In 2021, intact anti-personnel mines killed or injured at least 43 civilians and workers in the border regions of Iranian Kurdistan. 15 civilians were killed in the landmine explosions. Using 2020 as a comparison, landmine accidents have increased by 50%.

Citing the registered statistics of Hengaw Human Rights Organization, at least 43 civilians and workers, including three females and 40 males, fell victim to explosions from remaining anti-personnel mines in the border regions of Kurdistan in 2021. 15 people were killed in the blasts, the rest survived with serious injuries, some with the loss of body parts. A 10-year- old child is also among the dead.


Landmine accidents by provinces:
Kurdistan Province: 7 cases (4 dead, 3 injured)
Ilam Province: 14 cases (7 dead, 7 injured)
West-Azerbaijan Province: 7 cases (7 injured)
Kermanshah Province: 15 cases (4 dead, 11 injured)


The activities of the victims

The clear majority of the victims of the anti-personnel mine explosions in 2021 were workers. These include Kolbars, shepherds or traders who carried out their work in the mined border regions.
Workers: 29 Persons (9 dead, 20 injured) Soldiers: 8 Persons (5 dead, 3 injured)
Civilians: 6 Persons (1 dead, 5 injured)


Anti-personnel mines in Kurdistan
Since the Iran-Iraq war, dozens of civilians, workers and soldiers in the border regions of Kurdistan have been killed or injured by landmine explosions every year. According to statistics on mined regions in Iran, an area of around 4,200,000 hectares is mined in the western border region, which stretches across the Kurdish provinces of Urmia, Sanandaj, Kermanshah, Ilam and the predominantly Arab province of Khuzestan . Altogether there are up to 20 million landmines in the border regions of Iran, 70% of them in Kurdistan.

While some of the anti-personnel mines are from the Gulf War era, depending on the region, there are also new mines used by the Iranian army against Kurdish Peshmerga fighters. To this day, Iran refuses to accede to the Ottawa Convention, an agreement prohibiting the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines, and continues to produce them. Areas continue to be mined with the aim of driving out the peshmerga, putting numerous civilians in grave danger.


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