6 June 2013
IRAQI KURDISTAN: Landmines in the fields--an ever present danger
by Kathy Moorhead Thiessen
|Field where the mine exploded|
As he spoke to Mohammed, our translator, he quietly and matter-of-factly told us that the day before a mine had exploded under his tractor. “I was very scared. But not even the tractor was harmed. The mine made a big hole deep into the ground. I was OK too.” Halgurd’s father lost a leg to a mine and he knows people who have lost their lives to the same destructive weapons.
Later, his father, Mahmoud, told us again about their situation. The shelling from Iran has stopped for now, and he hopes it will end forever. However, the mines remain an ever-present danger.
CPT Iraqi Kurdistan has visited with this family many times and written releases about life in Kani Spi. The incident of four days ago impressed on the team again that their situation with the mines has not changed. Mahmoud said, “We must keep a careful eye on our children, especially those who visit us. Sometimes even the adults get absent-minded and may walk into the area of mines.”
Halgurd and two CPT delegates
sitting at the head of the
White Spring ("Kani Spi" in Kurdish.)
That evening, we spoke with his wife, Maryam, and expressed our gratitude that the detonated mine had not harmed Halgurd. “Thanks be to Allah,” she said.
The next day the delegation stopped at the mine clearing office in the nearby city. We presented the director with a letter asking him to consider working again in Kani Spi. We have not yet heard his reply.