Landmines are Rarely Used, But Continue to Gain Victims

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) states the new use of landmines is "unusually rare" but fighting in Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine and Yemen has made this the second year in a row where mines cause large numbers of casualties. 19659002] The ICBL declared in its annual report on Thursday that there were 8,605 casualties, 2,089 of them dead, by mines in 2016. This includes homemade bombs and bomb-activated weapons such as mines.

Among the victims, 78 percent were civilians. The victims included the highest number of child victims so far. This mine attack took place in 52 countries.

Loren Persi, editor of victims and aid for the victims at Landmine Monitor points out, some intense conflicts, totally ignoring the safety of civilians, have caused an enormous number of mine casualties for years second in a row. This, he said, indicates the need for all states to join the Mine Ban Treaty and to increase aid for mine victims.

Under the 1999 international agreement, nations agreed not to use or manufacture antipersonnel landmines, destroyed mine reserves which were still there, providing aid to the victims, and clearing mines in their territory within 10 years after joining the treaty.

On Wednesday, the ICBL accepted Sri Lanka as the 163th country that adhered fully to the treaty and expressed hope other countries in the region will join the treaty.

The report Thursday mentions Myanmar and Syria are two countries whose troops actively planted mines during the past year. The two countries did not join the mine ban agreement.

The report also mentioned 61 countries and areas contaminated by mines until November last year. And although 33 of them join the mine ban agreement, only Chile, Mauritania, Peru and the Democratic Republic of Congo are expected to meet the deadline for clearing mines in their area. [uh/ab]

Dhammal Dance in Pakistan, Will Continue to Survive?

Dancers wriggle indifferently, his head bowed forward, moving from left to right in drums, his long black hair looping back and forth. Another woman, perhaps a relative or friend, tried to throw a scarf over her head, but surrendered after the scarf continued to fall.

The movement could cause a stir in other parts of Pakistan, a conservative country where women are expected to obey and not attract attention, but not in this area. But this is the holy place of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, a famous 13th century Sufi scholar.

Over the past 700 years, as the legend has it, every night around at sunset, the player strikes a large drum, called naubat, women, young and old, dancing to the rhythm.

Dhammal, the name of the dance, is a form of worship similar to that of a dervish in Turkey. The shrine, located in the town of Sehwan Sharif, in the province of Sindh, Pakistan, attracts the attention of people from all religions.

Hindus, a large minority in this province, honor Qalandar as well as Muslims from both Shiite and Sunni sects. The folklore says "Daata," a nickname for a saint, can heal infertility in women, who come in droves to pray for children.

"This is the door of a saint, you find love here," says Ghulam Sarwar Langha , the manager of the shrine.

"Everyone is welcome, no one is expelled," he added.

Last February, as soon as dhama began, the walls of the shrine vibrated after a violent explosion.

A suicide bomber sparked an explosive in his jacket. At least 80 people, including many women and children, were killed.

According to anthropologist Zaigham Khan, the attack, which occurred in one of Sindh's many shrines in recent years, is one of the indicators that an inclusive Sindh culture and tolerant has changed. [my/jm]

Strong Winds Continue Fires Fires in California

Firefighters continue to extinguish several fires in southern California on Friday (8/12), including a new fire that broke out rapidly north of the city of San Diego.

Over the past five days, fires have destroyed 500 buildings and displaced 190,000 people, according to officials.

More than 5,700 helicopter-assisted helicopter helicopters sprayed and poured water and fire-fighting chemicals to block the fires of six major fires and small fires arising from Monday. [19659002] The escalating fires of Santa Anna winds struck areas along the Pacific coast from the district of Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, which lies 170 kilometers to the north.

President Donald Trump has issued an emergency declaration for California, paving the way for agents federal agencies to help coordinate relief efforts. [ds]