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Salim who defused thousands of IEDs says ignored after losing limbs

Salim who defused thousands of IEDs says ignored after losing limbs

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Dec 30, 2018 - 19:33

GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): A soldier, who defused thousands of landmines, says the government did not help him after he lost both of his legs, eyes and one hand to a landmine blast three years ago.

The former soldier, Mohammad Salim, is a resident of central Ghazni province, and had served in the national security for 14 years in southeastern Paktia and eastern Nangarhar provinces besides his own province.

In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Salim said he had defused 3,775 improvised explosive devises (IEDs) during his service.

“It was 3,776th landmine that went off when I was neutralizing it in Achin district of Nangarhar and injured me seriously,” he said. Salim lost one of his hands, both legs and eyes in the explosion.

“My wife was with me in hospital for few days and when she returned home, our house was looted by robbers, there was nothing left,” he said.

Mohammad Salim complained the government did not extend him any help in the last three years.

 “I cried and begged to officials in the office of the martyrs and disabled for help, but no one listened to me, later the head of Youths Association met me and helped me,” he said.

Salim, who lives with his wife and their two daughters, was worried about the future of his children.

“I have no legs and hands, my little daughter asks me why I am very small and other men are tall.”

Salim has received appreciation letters from officials in recognition of his great performance during his service, but now he says he has to start begging in the absence of government support.

Nasrullah Seyasi, the martyrs and disabled department director, said if Salim referred to their office, they would help him. Seyasi refused to talk more about the issue.

Ghazni governor’s spokesman, Mohammad Arif Noori, said disabled soldiers were assisted by aid giving organizations through their aid distribution programs.

“We have the plan to further help this soldier,” he said.

Previously, many soldiers who lost their limbs to the war had made similar complaints to Pajhwok.

mds/ma

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