One Tajik national has been killed and one another seriously injured after a landmine exploded in the border area in the Khatlon province.

According to the press center of the Committee for Emergency Situations and Civil Defense (CES) under the Government of Tajikistan, the incident took place in the Shamsiddin Shohin (formerly Shouroobod) district on October 18.

The 22 year-old  Orzu Sodiqov and the 29-year-old Zuhursho Rahmatov (both are residents of the village of Kavok) were reportedly blown up by a landmine while hunting pheasants in the area not far from the Tajik-Afghan border.  Orzu Sodiqov was killed on the spot, while Zuhursho Rahmatov sustained serious injuries and was hospitalized.  

The Kulob military prosecutor’s office has launched investigation into the incident. 

Residents of rural areas still remain at the mercy of wartime mines, which are a legacy of the republic's disastrous civil war in the Nineties.

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

According to data from the Tajik Mine Action Center (TMAC), 374 citizens of Tajikistan were killed and 485 wounded by land mines in the past twenty years.  Almost all who have survived, have become disabled for life.  Two deminers were killed and 20 more wounded over the past two decades.

In 1999, Tajikistan joined the Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Anti-Personnel Mines and pledged to ban the planting and stockpiling of such explosive devices on its territory.