ANA disarms illegal groups in Kunduz
KUNDUZ CITY (PAN): Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers have disarmed some illegal armed people and destroyed their checkpoints in the northern province of Kunduz, an official said on Sunday.
The weapons, including mortars, machineguns and Kalashnikovs, were collected from illegal groups over the past three days, a 209th Shaheen Military Crops commander told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Some commanders of tribal militias in Khanabad district willingly turned in the weapons, but others who resisted were disarmed during an operation, said the ANA commander, Amir Mohammad.
"A decision was made at a special meeting of tribal elders a couple of days ago that the armed men would hand over heavy weapons in the first phase and light guns in the second. With some individuals refusing to surrender their guns, the offensive had to be conducted," he said.
Although some private check-posts were eliminated, the illegally armed people managed to flee the area. The soldiers are looking for them, according to the commander.
Last month, 50 families were allegedly forced to leave their homes in Aqtash area by the tribal militia. Four militiamen, accused of killing locals, were detained, Mohammad said.
In Khanabad, there are nearly 4,000 illegal armed people as well as tribal militias, who bother the area people, said the deputy police chief, Col. Abdul Rahman Aqtash.
Residents of the district are happy over the disarming of the tribal militias and illegal groups. "The illegal armed men and militias would often ask us for money," said resident Niaz Mohammad, 50. He urged the government to deploy police to the area.
The deputy police chief, on the other hand, said nearly 150 local policemen would be stationed in the area, once it was cleared of illegal groups and militias.
As many as 1,500 tribal militiamen have been trained and equipped by the Afghan government to help maintain security in the area, officials said. About 1,200 of tribal militiamen are being recruited into the local force, registered with the Ministry of Interior.
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