Security no more a problem for Samangan coalmines
"Up to 20 gunmen who controlled and excavated coal from mines in inaccessible Gula and Hesar areas of Dara-i-Sauf Payeen district until two weeks back," the Samangan provincial council chief said.
Dr. Ziauddin told Pajhwok Afghan News security was no longer a problem as the group, equipped with heavy weapons, had surrendered.
Haji Abdullah, the acting district administrator, said: "Coalmines are in an inaccessible area 60 kilometers west of the district." The armed group excavated coal in a non-professional way and sold it in the market over the past three years.
Zamaruddin, a resident of Gula who used to serve the armed group, linked their opposition to the government to increasing poverty, hunger and unemployment.
More than 1,000 residents of Gula and Hisar villages never saw a single development project and suffered a lack of basic facilities, he complained.
There were no health clinics and schools in the remote area, where people had to walk for five hours to get to the district center to meet their needs, he said, adding they sold the coal in Balkhab district of Sar-i-Pul and Kushenda town of Balkh.
Samangan Governor Khairullah Anosh, happy with the surrender, said they had approached the Shamal Enterprise for coal excavation. He promised to deal with the surrendering dissidents according to the high peace council ruling.
Ali Madad, an official of the Shamal Enterprise, said excavation would be efficient and effective, if the government asphalted the road to Gula and Hisar villages.
Coal excavation from the Dara-i-Sauf Bala district contributed 582 million afs to the government's revenue last year.
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