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500 volunteers to help maintain Muharram security

500 volunteers to help maintain Muharram security

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On
Sep 21, 2017 - 18:17

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Kabul Garrison says as many as 500 youngsters are ready to keep security for religious places during Muharram mourning days alongside security forces.

Lt. Gen. Afzal Aman Aman, acting director general of the Kabul Garrison, on Thursday told a press conference here that the Afghan National Army (ANA) in collaboration with Afghan National Police (ANP) and National Directorate of Security (NDS) would be part of special security measures from Friday for the Muharram days.

“Terrorists are hell-bent on disrupting such religious and traditional festivals, but our decision is strong and Inshallah they won’t be allowed to conduct any kind of subversive activities.”

He said for ensuring security in Muharram days, some civil society organizations had come forward, offering 400 to 500 youngsters for maintaining security alongside security personnel.

Aman said: “We have assessed Kabul’s security gaps after an accurate calculation and we came to know about threats to mosques. Keeping in view all security vacuums and lapses; we took needed measures.”

Meanwhile, Aman during an interview on the sidelines of the presser told Pajhwok Afghan News that some of the volunteers offered by civil society organizations might be equipped with light weapons for better security on the 10th of Muharram, the last day of the mourning period.

“These youngsters are chosen because they are well aware of their areas and they serve for only 10 to 12 days, but there is some possibility that these youngsters are permanently hired for maintaining security of mosques and religious centers.”

As preparations for Muharram announced, a large number of people gathered in Kabul and asked security officials to ensure Shiite mourners were protected.

Sayed Essa Hussaini Masari, an Islamic scholar and one of the participants of the gathering, said the Afghan forces should adopt strict measures so deadly incidents of the past were not repeated. He said distribution of weapons to volunteer youth would be helpful.

Sayed Mohammad Baqi Waezi, another Islamic scholar, said that serious threats might occur during Muharram processions.

“We know threats from Daesh and Taliban, but we would observe Muharram with special will and power and would stand with Afghan security forces for protection of our sisters and brothers,” he said.

The ceremonial mourning ceremonies start from tomorrow, Friday, and would last until the tenth of Muharram, called Ashura.

Acting interior minister Wais Barmak on Wednesday said Afghan forces had adopted special security measures for protection of Muharram ceremonies in many areas of the country.

He had said the training of “hundreds of people” recruited by the ministry to protect mosques had almost finished. They (volunteers) will support the additional forces to be deployed around “sacred places”.

Daesh or Islamic State in the past 14 months has claimed a series of attacks which killed scores of Shia Muslims.

There were two major assaults on Shia mosques in August alone. In Kabul a suicide bomber and gunmen stormed a building during Friday prayers, killing 28 people and wounding scores more.

sns/mds/ma

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