Commander, his bodyguard killed
KUNDUZ CITY (PAN): A commander and his bodyguard of the newly established special security force were killed in a roadside bombing and a bomb planter was arrested in the Char Dara district of northern Kunduz province, an official said on Sunday.
Commander Ghulam Haidar and his bodyguard were riding past a motorcycle when a roadside bomb ripped through their bike in the Aaq Saray area late on Saturday night, Lt. Col. Ghulam Muheeuddin, the Char Dara district chief, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
He blamed the Taliban for the killing of Haidar who was commanding the special security force in the Zadran area of the district.
A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujhid, claimed to have killed commander Haidar along with two of his bodyguards in a remote-controlled explosion.
There have been up to 374 members of the force operating in different parts of Kunduz province. About 150 workers of the security force were deployed in Aliabad district on the 3rd of August. Initially, some 224 members of the force were stationed in the Qala-i-Zal district in early July.
Each member of the force is paid about $150 (7056 afghanis) a month, with a commander receiving $200 in salary, said Col. Saber Utesky, the commander of the German Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT).
"The area people previously complained about illegal armed groups operating in the area. In response to their complaints and in order to improve the overall situation, we set up the security force," he added.
All members of the force had produced guarantees of good conduct from village elders, religious scholars and local security officials, said the provincial police chief, Brig. Gen. Samiullah Qatra.
Although the force employees had no special uniform, they have special badges on their shoulders, he added. Initially, residents could not differentiate between the force and tribal militiamen.
All its members would be recruited into the local police force, which would be launched in the province after a year, the police chief said. Most of the people, who previously fought against the Taliban, are members of the force.
Insecurity caused by illegal armed groups could pave the way for Taliban's return, an official warned. The local police force is registered with the Ministry of Interior, but tribal militias only help maintain security in certain areas.
More than 1,500 tribal militiamen have been equipped and armed by the government to help maintain security in several areas of the province. Some 1,200 are to be recruited into local police.
Meanwhile, a bomb planter was arrested along with a bomb and its remote controller from a house in the Saraki Bala area of the district, Maj. Gen. Samiullah Qatra, the Kunduz police chief, said.
The bomb planter named Asadullah wanted to emplace the bomb on the main road of Char Dara district. However, Asadullah, 26, told journalists that he had been keeping the bomb in his house since last year. He said he feared that he would have been detained or killed by the government if he had turned in the bomb to security forces.
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