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Residents concerned as govt arms former jihadi commanders

Residents concerned as govt arms former jihadi commanders

Nov 16, 2015 - 15:30

GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): A former jihadi commander in southern Ghazni province on Monday claimed the government had distributed weapons to jihadi figures for the improvement of security.

Also member of the Jamiat party, Ismail Khanjar confirmed to Pajhwok Afghan News they had been delivered weapons by government to help improve the security environment the province.

“The arms were distributed after rumours about the possible fall of Ghazni haunted the people for days. We already had some weapons but received more from the authorities,” he said.

Khanjar added they had been ordered to patrol some districts of the province. He asked the security organs to provide more weapons to jihadi commanders -- a move that has fuelled concerns.

Hikmatullah, a resident of Ghazni City, believed the delivery of arms to jihadi commanders would not improve security. Instead the step could lead to further deterioration in the situation, he feared.

“This action of the government is very dangerous, because one day these very commanders would turn against the rulers,” the resident warned, saying reining in the commanders would not be easy.

However, Ghazni Governor Mohammad Hamim denied the distribution of weapons to former jihadi leaders. “Maybe these individuals had already been in possession of arms or have bought them now.”

Hamim said the Afghan forces were able to maintain security and they did not need any additional militias or volunteers in the fight against the insurgents, who have recently stepped up attacks in Ghazni.