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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Scottish charity resumes vital work in Afghanistan

This news post is 10 months old

The Halo Trust has been clearing landmines in the country

The largest landmine clearing charity in Afghanistan has struck an agreement with the Taliban to resume its work clearing unexploded munitions.

The Halo Trust, which has its headquarters in Scotland, evacuated all its foreign staff last month.

It said at the time that it hoped to return to its clearing work to help avoid a rise in casualties.

It has now confirmed that it has reached agreement to resume its operations around the country.

The Halo Trust - with its HQ near Thornhill in Dumfries and Galloway - has been working in Afghanistan for decades.

Its "very small component" of international staff was evacuated last month as the Taliban took control.

However, it has now been cleared to return to work.

A total of 1,400 of its local Afghan employees are deploying to five provinces around the country.

They will carry on their work disposing of live mortar shells, grenades and improvised explosive devices.

A spokesman for the charity told the BBC they had obtained the Taliban's permission, having already worked in Taliban-controlled areas during the years of insurgency.

Paul McCann added that their work had a particular urgency this month as so many Afghans were on the move.

The Halo Trust has said there is an "absolutely huge requirement" for its operations as large numbers of people try to return to their homes with the potential for a "big spike" in casualties.



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