Andar bazaar closed after Taliban threats
GHAZNI CITY (PAN): The main bazaar in Andar district of southern Ghazni province remained closed for the fifth consecutive day on Tuesday after the Taliban warned residents against going to the market.
All 300 shops in the town have been closed since Friday when the insurgents asked shopkeepers to stop going to the bazaar, Andar district chief, Sher Khan Yousufzai, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
The situation has left people with no option but to travel to the provincial capital, Ghazni city, for buying daily-use commodities, he said. "Through such threats, the Taliban want to make their presence felt," he added.
"The closure of shops in the town, which is 30 kilometres south of Ghazni city, has no impact on the government. The move will result in a public backlash against the rebels," the district chief believed.
A provincial council member, Amanullah Kamrani, said that people were faced with numerous problems due to the closure of shops.
"I haven't opened my general store since Friday," shopkeeper Aminullah said. He confirmed the fighters had warned shopkeepers of dire consequences if they opened their shops.
Another resident, Ahmadullah, said the Taliban's move had left most of residents without work. "The situation can worsen if shops stay shut because it is adding to the economic problems of people."
A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, confirmed they had ordered all shops closed in the district. He said they had told shopkeepers to close their shops three months back to prevent civilian casualties during clashes with security forces.
The bazaar would reopen after the Taliban achieved their goals, he said, without elaborating on their objectives.
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