Ghazni villagers set fire to aid from foreign troops
GHAZNI (PAN): Residents of a village in southern Ghazni province on Tuesday set fire to winter assistance received from foreign troops after they were asked to do so by the Taliban, the families said.
International forces based in the province on Monday gave winter clothes and other items to poor families in the Khudaidad village, on the outskirts of the provincial capital, Ghazni city, but the families said they were told by the insurgents to burn the goods.
"About 300 children were given winter assistance by foreign security personnel on Monday," Mohammad Sabir, a resident said.
Later in the day, he said, three armed men came to the village mosque and asked residents to gather all the items together and burn them.
He said the men called the assistance haram, or forbidden, and asked villagers not to accept such assistance from foreigners.
The aid included jumpers, jackets, boots, blankets, radios and sports equipment, according to residents.
A 13-year-old boy, Ahmad Shah, said he received a radio and a jumper from foreign troops but had taken them to the mosque as requested by the elders.
Around 60 people, most of them children, burnt the materials and chanted slogans against foreign troops.
However, a Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said they had no role in influencing the villagers to set fire to the goods, and that it was their own decision.
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