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‘Insufficient’ forces seen behind Nuristan unrest

‘Insufficient’ forces seen behind Nuristan unrest

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Jan 24, 2017 - 00:18

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Public representatives and tribal elders in eastern Nuristan province have expressed concern over a deteriorating security situation in the province that they feared could fall to the rebels if the number of security personnel is not increased.

They told Pajhwok Afghan News that militants had blocked roads in districts connecting them with Paroon, Nuristan’s capital. They said militants openly operated on roads and that high security threats existed in Doab, Bargamtal, Kamdish, Mandol, Norgram, Waigal and Wama districts.

The provincial council head, Eng. Saadullah Paindazoi, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the rebels had shut roads in most of the districts and security forces had been unable to reopen them.

“The number of police is limited while Nuristan is a mountainous province and has a large area. We don’t have Afghan National Army (ANA) troops in Nuristan. I think it is impossible to secure the entire province with a limited number of police that too equipped with light weapons,” he said.

The public representative said security forces, particularly police and border police, should be increased and ANA troops deployed to Nuristan for improving the situation.

A member of the provincial council, Zinatullah Wafa, also said the security situation was worsening in the province and people would face more problems if the strength of security forces was not increased.

“Right now many people are in trouble in districts, they cannot easily find food due to clashes,” he said.

A former head of the provincial council and tribal elder, Inayatullah Mazhabyar, said Doab, Bargamtal, Kamdish, Mandol, Norgram, Waigal and Wama districts were under serious security threat.

He said central officials did not allow food items to be transported to districts as they believed the food would reach militants. “Currently the food items available in districts are insufficient to meet people’s needs.”

Governor Hafiz Abdul Qayum confirmed shortage of security forces but said efforts were underway to resolve the problem to some extend in near future.

He also confirmed roads to districts were blocked but rejected central officials had prevented food items from being transported to rural areas.

He said people in districts were purchasing essential items in neighboring provinces such as Kunar and Laghman.

“We have suggested the deployment of Afghan Local Police (ALP) for security in Doab, Norgram and Mandol districts to the Ministry of Interior (MoI), which approved 80 ALP personnel for each district who would be deployed soon after their training is completed,” he said.

Maj. Sherin Aqa, 201st Selab Military Corps spokesman in the east, said sufficient security forces were available in Nuristan.

He said some security personnel might on vacation of off duty but enough forces were there to respond to any possible threat from militants.

Security forces sometimes suffer casualties in Nuristan due to its impassable routes and remote location to receive needed supplies.

mds/ma

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