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Badakhshan Taliban extort money, harass govt employees

Badakhshan Taliban extort money, harass govt employees

Aug 16, 2015 - 16:23

FAIZABAD (Pajhwok): Militants have blocked main route leading to Shuhada district in northeastern Badakhshan province and snatched cash and kinds from passengers and government officials traveling on the road, an official said on Sunday.

Mohammad Maroof Khairkhwa, the town’s administrative chief, said insurgents had captured dozens of villages in the district and disconnected the road leading to Baharak district.

He told Pajhwok Afghan News that Taliban search passengers and get 50,000 to 200,000 cash from individuals working for government or private organizations.

In case of refusing to give money to militants, he said Taliban then start beating and harassing passengers. According to Khirkhwa, as many as 140 militants were active along the road between Shuhada and Baharak districts extorting money from passengers daily.

He alleged Taliban of forcefully collecting Zakat, Ushar and cash from residents and in this way they equip their fighters with weapons and ammunitions.

Recently, Taliban have killed a policeman and her wife in the area. Col. Sakhi Dad Haidari, deputy police chief, said that rebels forced their way into the house of Noor Rahman, who served at police headquarters, and shot him and his wife dead.

Zafnoon Hasam Natiq, director of women affairs, condemned the act and demanded the arrest of killers involved in the gruesome act.

According to the official, women and their children were living in areas under control of Taliban.

Last week, a woman was hanged by the Taliban for maintaining illicit relations with a man in the Tirgaran district.

Due to Taliban’s control of several areas of Shuhada district, the prices of daily use commodities jumped and residents could not afford to buy daily use items with high prices.

The price of flour surged from 800 afghanis to 1,500 afghanis, 10 liters oil jumped from 600 afghanis to 1,500 afghanis and the prices of other items had increased manifold.

The district chief said: “We want the government to empower former Mujahidin commanders in the framework of Afghan security forces because they were aware of ground realties and could maintain law and order in a better way.”

One of the residents who wished to go unnamed said Taliban forced inhabitants to give them Zakat and Ushar money.

Taliban have not yet commented on incidents in Shuhada and Baharak districts.

Ahmad Javed Mujadidi, provincial council member, confirmed shortage of food items and increase in prices of necessary food items in Shuhada district.