Killing of tribal elders to scuttle peace bid: Helmandis
LASHKARGAH (PAN): A day after the killing of a High Peace Council member in the southern Helmand province, tribal elders warned on Sunday that attacks on influential figures could affect the ongoing reconciliation process.
Haji Abdul Zahir, a council member and former district chief, was gunned down by insurgents in the Kart-i-Lagan area of the provincial capital, Lashkargah, late on Saturday night.
With no personal enmity, Zahir had been working for the promotion of peace and had good relations with tribal elders and religious scholars, said regional secretary of the council, Daud Farhang.
"If the motive behind his killing is not explained soon, I will resign," the secretary warned.
Zahir's opposition to neighbouring countries' interference in Afghanistan could be a possible reason for his murder, believed tribal elder, Salim Rodi.
The killing that happened in the heart of the provincial capital indicated that the police force too weak to prevent such attacks, he added.
The incident took place at a time when police were on a patrol in the area, said another elder, Abdul Ahad. Police should be asked how the killers managed to flee, he suggested.
An investigation into the murdering was underway, the governor's spokesman, Daud Ahmadi, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Zahir might have been killed by insurgents, who had long been chasing him, believed the provincial police chief, Brig. Gen. Mohammad Hakim Angar.
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