Dumfries and Galloway charity The Halo Trust aims to restart landmine clearance work in Afghanistan

A south of Scotland charity wants to return to its landmine clearing in Afghanistan under Taliban rule. 

The Halo Trust, which has its headquarters at Thornhill near Dumfries, has been working in the country since 1988 and has said is more important than ever for its work there to continue.

Thousands of people have been fleeing for their lives from Afghanistan ahead of the deadline of August 31 for foreign troops in the country to withdraw.

More than three thousand miles away in Dumfries and Galloway, the Halo Trust, who've been working in Afghanistan for decades have told ITV Border that they have experienced an uncertain and tumultuous few weeks.

The  charity works in war torn countries around the world to remove unexploded mines after conflicts have ended. When the Taliban retook Afghanistan, it was unclear whether they would be able to continue operating there,  even though Halo currently employs two and a half thousand Afghans. 

Simon Conway, the charity's director of capability, said:

"I would say we were just ahead of the curve in terms of geting our international staff out. Our last two internationals, two female staff members left Kabul ten days ago. They were extracted by Italian special forces in the end.

In the late 1990s Mohammed Omar, the leader of the Taliban at the time, issued a Fatwa against landmines, which effectively gave the charity permission to work in the country.

Mr Conway said there are about 3.5m people in Afghanistan who are internally displaced that the Taliban want to go back to their homes, who don not know about how safe these are - specifically if there are bombs or improvised explosive devices in fields, gardens or houses.

The charity does have challenges ahead, particularly in regards to its female staff. Previous Taliban regimes have banned women from working but cannot comment yet on the specifics of that situation.

Read more: