Kunduz residents say roadside bombs increasing
KUNDUZ CITY (PAN): Roadside bombs are causing an increasing number of
civilian casualties in northern Kunduz province, residents there say.
The Taliban used to be active in Dash Archi, Chahar Dara, Imam Sahib, and Gorthipa districts, but last month, an operation by Afghan forces forced them out. Now, however, the Taliban have responded by planting more roadside bombs.
In February alone, there have been at least three roadside bomb blasts which caused casualties, according to a tally by Pajhwok.
In the most recent incident in Tapa Boridha, a man along and his two young sons were killed when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb. The explosion was so powerful that it threw their bodies 100 metres away from the car.
Dor Muhammad, a cousin to the victims, cried when he heard of their death. “My cousin purchased the vehicle on loan; he was taking wood to the city.”
“What kind of Islam is this, when the Taliban kill civilians?” he said.
Muhammad Anwar, religious scholar, described the bombings as “the most heinous act according to Islam”.
“Islam does not allow in any condition someone to kill innocent people.”
Another explosion in Naw Abad area of Chahar Dara district killed three children and the third, in Dasht Archi district injured three women.
Residents of the area say 14 civilians, including children and women, have been killed and 60 others injured in roadside bombs, they say have been planted by the Taliban, this past 12 months.
The Taliban deny they target civilians and that the bombs are for Afghan and foreign forces.
Not only do the bombs cause casualties, but even when they don’t explode they are an inconvenience. Several roads in the area linking
villages to district centres have been closed because of the threat of bombs and so residents have to use minor roads to get where they are going, or are prevented from going at all.
“Two years ago, we used to go to Kunduz City on the Nahr Sufi main road which would take just 30 minutes. But, when the Taliban started to plant bombs on the road, we were forces to use other ways to reach the city and now it takes one hour,” Najibullah, a resident of Mang Tapa in Chahar dara district, said.
“Although there has been no sign of the Taliban in the area for the past two months, the orad still has not been cleared of roadside bombs,” he said.
Abdul Manan, a Dasht Archi elder, also said he was concerned about roadside bombs on the road from Dasht Archi to Kunduz city. “A large part of this road is blocked due to the existence of mines.”
“Two years ago, we could travel to Kunduz city in one hour, now it takes three hours because the main road is blocked because of the mines and we have to use the minor roads.
“Some of these minor roads are in a very bad condition, they are not even paved.”
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