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Rebels eye control of Samangan coalmines: police

Rebels eye control of Samangan coalmines: police

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May 09, 2017 - 18:46

AIBAK (Pajhwok): Militants have been attempting to take control of coalmines in Dara-i-Suf Bala district of northern Samangan province, the provincial police chief said on Tuesday.

Brig. Gen. Mohammad Baqer Massoud told a visiting delegation of the Meshrano Jirgainfo-icon or Senate here that only six police kept security for the coalmine site.

He said there were a total of 75 policemen in the entire district stretched over a huge area while some 2,000 people worked at about 1,000 tunnels of coal mine.

Massoud said they needed a strong 300-member police force to ensure security of the district and coalmines.

The police chief said President Ashraf Ghani and the Ministry of Interior had been conveyed these concerns, but no action was taken despite assurances from the Presidential Palace.

He said the presence of militants in the vicinity of the coal mine was alarming. “Some anti-government elements are currently active at the mining site. They want to completely control the coalmine.”

The police chief also raised the issue of low salaries of Samangan police compared to salaries of the police in neigbouring provinces.

He said police in Kunduz, Baghlan and Balkh received 12,000 afghanis monthly pay while in Samangan their salary was 8,000 afghanis.

Maulviinfo-icon Ghulam Muhauddin, a member of the Mesharano Jirgainfo-icon, also expressed concern over the salary issue. He promised to convey the matter to the Senate and the president.

nh/ma

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