A stock image of unexploded ordinance. Photo: UNMAS
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Five members of a family were wounded, one fatally, in Iran’s Kermanshah Province after a remnant artillery shell from the 1980s exploded.
An artillery shell left from the Iraq-Iran war exploded in a Sheikh Sela village near Salas Babajani city around 11 p.m. on Tuesday, according to Hengaw Organization for Human Rights.
The local rights group reported one person was killed and four others were wounded — all from the same family.
Jalil Falah was identified as the killed daughter. The wounded were Piroze, the mother, two sisters Bahare Falah and Johra Falah, and their brother Khalil Falah.
"Our house was ruined during the earthquake and we were trying to clean the building that this accident happened," a family member told Kurdistan News agency, referring to the November 2017 earthquake that wrecked havoc on many in Kermanshah.
During Iran-Iraq war from 1980-88, Kermanshah was a major front along the border. It is littered with unexploded ordinance of war including anti-personnel landmines and artillery shells.
Western provinces in Iran including West Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, Kermanshah, Ilam, and Khuzestan also have had considerable post-war casualties.
Northern areas of Iraq in what is now the Kurdistan Region are also heavily mined because of Saddam Hussein’s war with the Iran.
According to UNICEF, Iraq has the fifth-most land mines per square-mile at 59 — totaling an estimated 10 million. Iran, despite its larger land mass, has 25 mines per square-mile and 16 million in total.