Landmine Museum, Kabul, Afghanistan

Snap Quiz; are these (a) children’s toys, or (b) Land mines. If you guessed B, you get to keep your leg.

Here’s a museum only Afghanistan could host.(or possibly Somalia, Sierra Leone, Burma or a few other counties I’ve visited of late)
The Organisation for Mine Clearance & Afghan Rehabilitation (OMAR) have been working for years attempting to clear the many thousands of land mines as well unexploded ordinance (UXO) that litter the country.
The OMAR also host an odd sort of Museum which has many of the dozens of types of land mines and UXO they have cleared on display. A highlight has got to be the Russian made “Butterfly” mines. These plastic mines are normally air dropped and have little kind of wings to float them to the ground. They also rather sadistically come in a range of kid friendly colours making them a kind of bizarro world children’s toy. This has rather sickeningly created missing arms a plenty.


70’s Tupperware or anti-tank mine?

Another nice one is the Italian made TC-6 anti tank mine. It looks more like 70’s Tupperware than an explosive device. Definitely not dishwasher safe. Another fun feature of these and some other mines is that they are mostly made of plastic. This makes them difficult to detect with the usual metal detector approach. For these they have specially trained explosive sniffer dogs to find them. Unfortunately they loose the occasional dog when it gets a bit too excited about it’s work.
None the less, the OMAR keep working to clear Afghanistan of the nasties above as well as educate the people to their dangers. Who knows how many lives have been saved by their work. When I asked they were hoping to have the country clear of mines and unexploded ordinance by around 2012. I’m not sure if they have factored in the amount of UXO being dropped on the country as we speak.

5 Responses to “Landmine Museum, Kabul, Afghanistan”

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    Fascinating!!!…and horrible!

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