1,000 people killed and wounded in Nangarhar this year
JALALABAD (PAN): More than 1,000 people were killed and wounded in 157 incidents of violence, including 11 suicide attacks, in eastern Nangahar province during this Afghan year, which ends March 21, a tally based on news reports shows.
Thought one of relatively peaceful provinces, Nangarhar is located on the Duran Line, having 22 districts and the busiest Torkham border crossing.
The outgoing Afghan year of 1389 (March 21, 2010 to March 20, 2011), saw 38 rocket attacks and 79 explosions in Nangarhar, in addition to clashes between tribes over lands and gun-battles between government forces and insurgents.
International and Afghan forces carried out 52 operations across in the province to curb drug smuggling and seize arms.
Two suicide attacks on Jalalabad airport, two on Behsud Bridge and an organised suicide attack on Kabul Bank were the deadliest in 1389.
District chiefs of Gushta and Surkhrod were among those killed in these attacks.
Nearly 70 percent of fuel and food stuff is shipped to Kabul City through Torkham border crossing. Insurgents attacked and destroyed 41 tankers and trucks during the year, the figures show.
Pakistani forces launched cross border attacks into Afghan soil for 20 times during the period, displacing thousands of families in Gushta district.
A press release from Nangarhar governor's house confirmed 1000 people were killed and wounded this year in security related incidents.
The release said the dead included 193 civilians and Afghan security officials. It put at 331 wounded in attacks from insurgents.
Afghan and international forces killed 204 insurgents and wounded 277 others in their operations, the release added.
"Insurgents have now opted to carry out roadside and suicide attacks," Brig. Gen. Ali Shah Paktiawal, Nangarhar police chief, said.
The rebels had changed their war tactics, he said, adding it was not possible to prevent suicide attacks even in a developed country.
Paktiawal said police had many achievements, including clearing Sherzad district from insurgents, over the year.
The governor's spokesman, Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, said insurgents had lost courage to fight face-to-face with security forces, therefore they were mostly attacking public places to cause more casualties.
He said reserved police were being created and regular police equipped with modern arms to maintain insecurity for the province effectively.
Mangal Sherzad, a lecturer at the political science department of Nangarhar University, predicted the year 1390 as more violent.
Peace talks initiated by the government lacked sincerity, he said, linking increasing insecurity to surge in foreign forces, their operations, civilian casualties and lack of public trust on foreign forces.
Dr. Mukhlis Ahmad, former provincial chief of chamber of commerce and industries, said imports fell by 50 percent in 1389. Insecurity forced many businessmen to leave the province for other parts of the country, he added.
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