An old land mine in Afghanistan claimed the lives of nine children on Sunday, a Taliban spokesman reported.

As reported by the Associated Press, citing Hamidullah Nisar, the provincial head of the information and culture department, the mine, one of the thousands laid during the country’s decades of conflict, went off as a group of young boys and girls were playing with it in the Geru district of Ghazni province on Sunday.

“An unexploded mine left over from the time of the Russian invasion went off when they were playing with it,” Nisar said. “Unfortunately, it killed nine children.”

The Ghazni police said the children- five girls and four boys – were aged from 5 to 10 years old.

According to Voice of America, Nisar also claimed that the ammunition was left over from the time of the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in the 19805.

According to the outlet, Afghanistan experienced several years of civil war in the 1990s after the Russian troops withdrew from the country, ending their decade-long military intervention.

Large areas of Afghanistan are covered in unexploded mines, grenades, and mortars that were dropped during the Soviet invasion in 1979, the civil war, and the 20-year Taliban insurgency.

According to CBS News, even though the Taliban’s takeover of power in August 2021 marked the end of their insurgency and a decrease in violence, mines and unexploded bombs continue to claim lives regularly, with children being the primary casualties.

As reported by the outlet citing the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), about 44,000 Afghan civilians have been recorded to have been killed or injured by landmines and explosive remnants of war since 1989.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) noted last year that 640 children had been killed or injured by unexploded bombs in just 18 months. The organization also emphasized the need to handle these explosives efficiently.

This tragic incident also happened the same day another child died, and five other people were wounded when unexploded ammunition went off in the Herat province.