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Afghan coal mine explosion kills eleven: Official

Last Updated: Saturday, December 24, 2011 - 16:52

Kabul: An explosion at a coal mine in
northern Afghanistan has killed 11 people, an official said
on Saturday.

The miners, who were all working at the site without
government permission, died after an explosion triggered a
collapse at the mine in Baghlan province yesterday night, said
the provincial governor`s spokesman Mahmood Haqmal.

"Late on Friday a number of local people were digging at
a coal mine in the Chenarak area of Nehrin district when an
explosion killed 11 workers," he said.

Police are at the scene working to recover the bodies.
Conditions in Afghan coal mines can be dangerously
primitive, with miners working by hand and little in the way
of ventilation, equipment or safety gear.

Afghanistan is believed to have mineral reserves worth as
much as USD 3 trillion which could theoretically generate
billions of dollars in tax revenue for the troubled country.

But exploitation of these resources faces massive hurdles
due to ongoing instability after 30 years of war in the
country, woeful infrastructure, and endemic corruption.

Nevertheless, mining lots are being quickly parcelled out
among Afghanistan`s resource-hungry neighbours, and according
to mining ministry documents the country is planning to sell
extraction rights for up to five mines every year until the
departure of the last foreign combat troops in 2014.


First Published: Saturday, December 24, 2011 - 16:00

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