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Taliban search vehicles on roads: Paktika residents

Taliban search vehicles on roads: Paktika residents

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Nov 28, 2016 - 15:21

SHARANA (Pajhwok): A number of residents of southeastern Paktika province say Talibaninfo-icon militants have started searching vehicles and passengers on highways.

They said the armed rebels looked for government officials in vehicles on the Paktika-Ghazni and Paktika-Paktia highways.

A resident of Sharana, the provincial capital, Syed Khan, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the highways in Paktika had become highly insecure.

He said Taliban militants daily searched vehicles on roads and pulled government officials from vehicles and killed them.

But he did not provide any figure for those killed by the insurgents. “Taliban can be seen standing on road just 100 metres away from security posts. They disembark government officials from vehicle and kill them,” Syed Khan said.

According to his information, the Taliban could be seen on the Paktika-Paktia highway at 10 locations where they searched passengers.

Similar views were expressed by another resident of the provincial capital, Syed Noor. “A few days ago, my cousin who was travelling from Ghazni to Paktika was dragged out of vehicle and shot dead by Taliban.”

Noor confirmed the Taliban had started searching vehicles on roads in the province, claiming that over the past one month alone, the Taliban killed 30 government servants after pulling them from vehicles on the Paktika-Ghazni highway.

Similarly, Paktika Civil Societyinfo-icon Groups coordination centre head Khurshid Aman Katawazai told Pajhwok that the problem was in Zurmat district of neighbouring Paktia province. Zurmat district borders Paktika’s Mata Khan district.

Katawazai said Taliban militants used to stop vehicles in Zurmat district to look for government officials and kill them. “The threat subsides when you enter Paktika from Zurmat.”

An Afghan National Army soldier Abdullah Shinwari said people could not easily travel to Paktika by road due to Taliban’s threat while there were no air flights to the province from other provinces.

The spokesman for Paktia governor, Naqib Ahmad Atal, told Pajhwok Afghan News about the Taliban’s presence in Zurmat district that the provincial government was trying to resolve the issue through an organized plan.

The governor of Ghazni province, Abdul Karim Matin, confirmed security problems on the Ghazni-Paktika highway and said a plan was being devised to address the issue.

“Right now a delegation is visiting the area to know where the problem originates from,” the governor said, asking tribal elders to cooperate with security forces in resolving the issue.

But Paktika governor Mohammad Ilyas Wehdat said there was no problem on highways inside Paktika and that the problem existed in Paktia’s Zurmat and Ghazni’s Andar districts.

Wehdat said the security problem on highways would be resolved jointly with officials of neighbouring provinces and the issue would be taken up with government leaders in Kabulinfo-icon.

The Taliban have not yet commented about the issue, but previously their spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid had said the fighters did not bother common people.

About a week ago, Taliban militants pulled four policemen from vehicles on the Ghazni-Paktika road and later killed them.

Paktika borders Ghazni, Zabul and Paktia provinces as well as Pakistaninfo-icon.

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