Illegal mining in Afghanistan is a major problem. Insurgents and traffickers profit from the mining industry while the government, whose influence does not reach some areas because of the country’s ongoing conflict or difficult terrain, can do little to stop it.
A study by the United States Institute of Peace published last year said that most of the mining in Afghanistan is “either illegal or unregulated.”
Mines have been run by local communities in some cases for decades while in others, they are controlled or exploited by the Taliban or criminal networks, the study said.
The roads to 12 districts in Badakshan, including Kohistan, have been cut off by to heavy snow, which may hamper aid and emergency efforts, local news agency Pajhwok reported.