Even as attention is riveted on those who’ve lost limbs in Haiti, experts warn that the tragedy there highlights a grim reality: the number of amputees around the globe is rising – and fast – due to war, violence, disaster and disease.

An Angolan soldier walks through the destroyed town of Cuito, Angola, in March of 2000, as a man who lost his leg in a landmine explosion passes by. With 1 in every 334 people having lost a limb, mostly to the landmines left behind by bloody civil war, Angola has the highest rate of amputees in the world, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

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A young boy gets fitted with a new prosthetic arm at the Veterans International Kien Khleang Rehabilitation center in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in August of 2003. The clinic helps rehabilitate victims left from two decades of civil war. One in 384 Cambodians are amputees, largely from landmines and other remnants of explosives.

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Afghan National Army soldier Achin Gul, 20, a double amputee sits in his wheelchair at the military hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, in October of 2009. Achin was in a military truck with other soldiers heading to buy food supplies to break the Ramadan fast when their vehicle hit an improvized explosive device (IED), killing two soliders and injuring many. In Afghanistan, 1 in 631 people live with limb loss, largely caused by IEDs planted by the Taliban.

Paula Bronstein / Getty Images AsiaPac

An Iraqi Shiite boy named Ammar, age 11, puts on his prosthetic leg at his house in al-Karrada district in central Baghdad, in September of 2007. He lost his leg in a car bomb. One in 987 people in Iraq are amputees, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Ahmad Al-rubaye / AFP

Pham Quy Tuan, 41, of Quang Tri, Vietnam, lost his left hand and right arm when a leftover American projectile exploded in a rice paddy in August of 2009. He is now helped by a project sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. In Vietnam, one in 1,182 people have lost a limb, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Le Quang Nhat / AP

The Haiti earthquake on Jan. 12, 2010, created as many as 6,000 amputees, people who lost limbs either from injury or resulting infections. Experts say this ranks among the largest-ever loss of limbs from a natural disaster, and has instantly turned Haiti into the epicenter of the global amputation crisis.

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