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Qarabagh people complain of insecurity, death threats

Qarabagh people complain of insecurity, death threats

Aug 21, 2016 - 18:59

KABUL (Pajhwok): The residents of Qarabagh district of central Kabul province have expressed their concern about the movement of masked gunmen, telephonic threats and night letters threatening government officials to leave their jobs.

Government officials in the district confirmed insecurity and threats but rejected the movement of dressed in black masked armed men.

However, Faridullah, a resident of Dasht-i-Langar village, told Pajhwok Afghan News a number of masked gunmen dressed in black clothes used to appear during nights in a number of areas over the past three months.

“Such people are seen in Pangolak, Dasht-I-Langar, Soi Koh, Arzoghan, Bagh-i-Zaghan, Sabz Sang and Qala Bibi areas of the district, but they do not interact with local residents,” he said.

He said he had personally come across the masked gunmen thrice. “Few days ago, I was transferring wheat from the district bazaar to my village when nine armed people wearing black clothes stopped me late in the evening.”

Faridullah said the gunmen asked him where he was going. “I told them I am a laborer and taking the wheat home, then they allowed me to go,” he said, adding that he had stopped working after sunset since then.

Faridullah said about three months ago, the armed men had warned military officers through night letters to leave their duties in Qarabagh district.

The emergency of unknown masked gunmen and night letters has worried people and some have shifted their homes to Kabul city, he said.

He expressed concern about the situation and asked the government to take action against the gunmen.

Shah Maqsud, a shopkeeper in the district center, said he had seen two groups of unknown armed men wearing black uniforms at nights during the past three months.

“Three months ago we had no problem going to our village located about five kilometers from the district center during nights, but now the security situation is of great concern,” he added.

Maqsud added now he used to close his shop early in the afternoon to reach home before the darkness due to security concerns.

“This situation has affected the business of shopkeepers and all people. It is the responsibility of the government to ensure security,” he said.

Adil Khan Akakhel, a resident of Akakhel village of Qarabagh, and a provincial council member, confirmed security challenges in the district and said he personally was threatened to death by militants on the telephone.

He said militants had warned him to leave his duty with the government. A number of influential figures had also received similar threats from militants and they had been warned not to support the government, he added.

“But we have no fear from anyone or anything except Allah, we would support our people and the government,” he said.

He confirmed the movement of unknown armed men in Qalabaz and Sabz Rang areas of Qarabagh.

Black uniform is usually used by Daesh militants, but Akakhel said such armed men have not been identified so far.

He added that two weeks back, a Taliban flag was also raised in Bagh-I-Alam area of Qarabagh and the militants planted bomb under it to target Afghan forces. The bomb was defused by security forces.

All these problems have been shared with the officials concerned, but no action has been taken so far, he said.

Anwar Khan Oryakhil, a lawmaker from Qarabagh, said besides Taliban involved in destructive activities in the district, a number of government officers were also contributing to insecurity there. However, he did not name anyone.

Oryakhil said the night letters were spread only for once three months ago, but Qarabagh people were united in their support for the government.

He security challenges in the district had been shared with the officials concerned, but practical action was yet to be taken due to government officials own involvement in insecurity.

However, Qarabagh district chief Abdul Sami Sharifi did not confirm the presence of unknown armed men in his district, but said Taliban militants rarely showed up.

He said two suicide attacks and a car bombing had taken place in the past two years. The Taliban also planted 12 roadside bombs, but most of them were defused by Afghan forces during that period, Sharifi said.

But he did not provide information about casualties in the incidents. He linked security challenges in Qarabagh to its neighborhood including Koh-i-Safi  and Dara-i-Ghorband districts where security situation is not stable.