600 roadside bombs cleared in Kunduz, but threat remains
KUNDUZ CITY (PAN): More than 600 roadside bombs or improvised explosive devices have been discovered and cleared in last five months in northern Kunduz province, but the threat has not subsided fully yet, officials and residents said on Sunday.
The 600 bombs, allegedly planted by the Taliban insurgents, were found in cooperation with NATO-led ISAF soldiers in Chardara, Dasht-i-Archi and Imam Sahib districts, deputy police chief, Col. Abdul Rahman Aqtash, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Nearly a dozen people, including three policemen, have been killed and nine others, including a policeman, five civilians and the rest foreigners, wounded as a result of 30 roadside bomb explosions during the past five months, he said.
"Residents are happy with mine clearing operations, but they are still under threat," he said.
A taxi driver, Baaz Mohammad, 30, said earlier they had to drive with utmost care due to mines on roads, but the clearing operations helped them overcome their fear.
However, he said there were rumours that the Taliban would attempt to plant more bombs on roads cleared of mines.
A Chardara district resident, Noor Rahman, 50, claimed insurgents had again planted bombs on various routes once cleared of mines.
"The Taliban fighters have told people not to travel on roads where they had planted bombs," Rahman said. "The Taliban say if anyone is killed, it will be the victim's own responsibility."
The deputy police chief, Col. Aqtash, said since the militants were unable to face Afghan soldiers, they have opted to plant roadside bombs against the forces.
A regional Taliban commander, who did not want to give his name, said they planted bombs on roads frequented by foreigners and Afghan soldiers.
When asked the bombs often claim civilian lives, he said: "We always inform people, but they do not care."
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