DUSHANBE, September 2, Asia-Plus  -- Demining operator from Tajik Mine Action Cell (TMAC) Nouriddin Mavlonazarov, who is serving on a contractual basis, has been injured while carrying out demining operation in the area of Khaburabat Pass in GBAO’s Darvoz district, the TMAC director Jonmahmad Rajabov said in an interview with Asia-Plus.

According to him, the demining operators was injured in the leg on September 1 as a land mine exploded some 8-10 meters far from him.  “Mavlonazarov is now in good health condition,” the TMAC director said, noting that a speical commission is currently working in the site to determine the cause of the explosion.   

It is to be noted that most land mines in Tajikistan were laid during the devastating five-year civil war, which ended in 1997.  In many areas the mines still pose a deadly threat as well as a major impediment to effective land use.

Additional mines were laid along the Tajik-Uzbek border by the authorities in Tashkent in the late 1990s.  The action was reportedly taken to stave off incursions by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).   

Tajikistan signed the Convention on the Prohibition on the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Antipersonnel Mines and on their Destruction (the Ottawa Convention) in 2000. All signatory states undertook to ensure the destruction of all anti-personnel land mines they possess, as soon as possible but no later than 10 years after signing the convention. In the case of Tajikistan, this means that the country should be mine-free by 2010.