Unexploded US bomblets
Since October 2001, American warplanes have dropped thousands of bombs on Taliban front lines, including "cluster bombs," in which nearly 10 percent of the scattered bomblets may not have exploded.
"We completely forgot about the Russian bombs and mines when we saw American cluster bombs," says Nazir Ahmad, a de-miner for the Organization for Mine Clearance and Afghan Rehabilitation (OMAR) here in Jalalabad.
"They are horrible things. Nobody knows how to detect them and nobody knows how to destroy them," he continues. "In Herat, when Americans dropped cluster bombs, there were little bomblets that were a yellow color. Children thought they might be food. Thirty have been killed and 25 wounded by cluster bombs."
More than 10 Afghans are killed or injured each day. And nearly 1 out of 10 families has a member who has been disabled by mines or unexploded ordnance left behind by the 1979-1989 Soviet war in Afghanistan.
At present, almost half of the 725 square kilometers of land identified as minefields is concentrated in the urban areas where Afghans live, or in the small percentage of Afghanistan's fertile land where Afghans raise crops or livestock.
Nearly 123 square kilometers of minefields have been cleared so far, but in the deadly civil-war years since 1995, many new minefields - more than 43 square kilometers - were laid by warring Afghan factions.
Among the most active mine-laying factions is America's new ally, the Northern Alliance.
By Scott Baldauf | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor