People concerned over killings in Balkh
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): Residents of northern Balkh province asked security personnel to prevent the killings of influential figures and tribal elders.
Tribal elders and other influential figures have faced reduced threats recently, but the deaths of three tribal elders over the over the past two weeks in Chamtal and Charboldak districts are raising concerns once more.
Unidentified gunmen gunned down former jihadi commander Mohammad Yasin on Monday in Mazar-i-Sharif.
Two tribal elders were also killed in Nawkhar village of Chamtal district. Unidentified gunmen abducted Nawkhar village tribal elder Hajji Jan Mohammad one night last week. His dead body was found near the village the next morning, a resident of Babran village, Syeda Gul, told Pajhwok Afghan News. Gul said the tribal elder had did not have links with either the Taliban or the government.
Another tribal elder, Munshi, was taken from his house by unidentified armed men in the village and killed, he said.
Residents fear that such incidents might return to the levels of the last few years, he said.
“I knew Munshi had no dispute with anyone. I don’t know who would kill him,” another village resident, Zainullah, said.
In another incident, unknown gunmen shot dead a tribal elder three days ago in Zigzig village of Charboldak village, a resident of the village, Mir Mohammad, said.
“When we left the mosque after evening prayers, two motorcyclists shot dead the tribal elder, Abdullah,” he said.
Charbuldak district chief Amir Shah Khan said the killing was the result of a prior dispute.
Mir Muhammad said no one pursued the attackers, who managed to flee. He said that living in the area will become much more difficult if security personnel do not prevent such incidents.
Taliban fighters met with the people of Nawkhar village on Monday, saying that they had no hand in the killings. A resident of the district said that the Taliban would hang the perpetrators if residents helped the Taliban find them.
Security officials, however, accused Taliban fighters of killing tribal elders in an effort to create a gap between people and the government.
Provincial police spokesman Shir Jan Durani said that the Taliban kill patriot tribal elders who are trying to develop their areas, and later deny being behind the attacks. He said the police are trying to maintain security, so residents should cooperate with them to prevent such killings.
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