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Most of Khogyani areas cleared of Daesh, MPs told

Most of Khogyani areas cleared of Daesh, MPs told

Dec 25, 2017 - 17:42

KABUL (Pajhwok): Security bosses on Monday claimed several villages have been cleared of Daesh militants in the Khogyani district of eastern Nangarhar province, calling the Islamic State group “a project of regional intelligence networks.”

Interior Minister Wais Ahmad Baramak, Army Chief Gen. Sharif Yaftali, deputy head of the National Directorate of Security Maj. Gen. Abdul Sabour Qani on Monday appeared before Wolesi Jirga or lower house of parliament to brief lawmakers on the country’s security situation and the Khogyani district.

The lawmakers expressed concern over what they said growing strength of Daesh and defection of some Taliban members to the rival group.

Lawmaker Abdul Hai Akhunzada, deputy head of the house Internal Security Commission, said security forces launched operations against Daesh in Khogyani district one month ago and wrapped them up without any success.

He said hundreds of families displaced from Khogyani district due to the war had been in terrible condition.

In response, Interior Minister Wais Ahmad Barmak said Daesh was supported by some regional spy networks to pressurize the Afghan government and derail the existing system.

He said Daesh active in Afghanistan had no link with the Daesh based in Syria and Iraq. Many former Taliban had joined the Daesh group and were fighting against security forces, the minister said.

Barmak said Daesh had been driven from 41 villages in Khogyani district and the National Security Council on Monday decided to hire 300 local forces for keeping security of the cleared areas.

Army Chief Gen. Yaftali confirmed Barmak’s comments and added that the situation for the return of refugees was suitable.

Answering question about government’s alleged links with Daesh, he said the government had no link with Daesh and it was striving to suppress them.

He said: “Groups who disagree with the government offer of reconciliation would be suppressed and eliminated.”

Regarding claims that Daesh rebels were being shifted to different parts of the country through helicopters, he said no evidence was available with the government in this regard.

The army chief said: “We conducted 113 night raids with the help of Air Force during the ongoing solar year. According to our information when people see helicopters sent for airstrikes at night, they believe Daesh rebels are shifted in these copters.”

Gen. Yaftali also spurned rumors regarding an alleged agreement on the fencing of Durand Line and said the government had no authority to ink such an agreement.

He said security plan for the upcoming year had been chalked out and hoped that coming solar year would be ‘good.’