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GLOBALink | Mine museum showcases peril of war in Afghanistan

KABUL, May 20 (Xinhua) -- The OMAR Mine Museum in the Afghan capital Kabul displays a variety of landmines and explosive remnants of war, highlighting the danger of the "hidden enemies."

"Landmines and explosive remnants of war are hidden enemies to all people, even for those who plant them and to the demining personnel as well," Mohammaddin Tarakhil, director of the OMAR Mine Museum, told Xinhua on Wednesday. "If you ask about the outcome of the war and conflicts in Afghanistan, please visit the mine museum in Kabul," he said.

He made the comment on the International Museum Day which falls on May 18 every year. This year's theme is "The Power of Museums."

"Museums represent the cultural heritage of a country, and are the best window to quickly understand a country; however, the OMAR Mine Museum puts on display various types of unpleasant gifts from many countries, the hidden enemy landmines," Tarakhil said.

More than 20,000 visitors have visited the museum since it was founded in 1994 by the Organization for Mine Clearance and Afghan Rehabilitation (OMAR), he said.

"The OMAR Mine Museum was opened in a small room in western Herat province ... Then it was shifted to Kabul aimed at upgrading the mine awareness to the public," he said, adding that the museum contains a collection of 51 types of landmines out of the 53 types that have been used in Afghanistan during the decades of wars and fighting.

Landmines have continued to kill or maim more than 120 people every month in Afghanistan, one of the most landmine-contaminated countries, the State Ministry for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs said in April.

The explosive remnants of war also frequently cause casualties among the Afghans in the mountainous country.

The ministry noted that it would take seven to eight years to rid the Asian country of the menace of mines.

Produced by Xinhua Global Service