Residents can't visit Kandahar City at night
KANDAHAR CITY (PAN): Residents of different districts in the southern province of Kandahar say they fear visiting the provincial capital at night because of bombs planted by Taliban and patrols by foreign forces.
Militants have threatened locals not to come out of homes at night, as they may fall victim to roadside bombs, targeting foreign soldiers.
As a result, all streets and roads leading the provincial capital are either blocked by foreign soldiers or littered with explosive devices by the fighters, said a resident of Panjwai district, Mohammad Laal Aka.
"Even if patients are in serious condition, no one can take them to the city; they have to wait until morning," he added.
Another resident, Abdul Rahim, says the insurgents plant bombs late at night and unearth them in the morning. When civilians fall prey to a Taliban-planted bomb, the militants would fine the victim’s family.
The resident quoted the rebels as saying that they do not want the explosive devices, essentially targeting Afghan and foreign forces, to be wasted like that.
He said most explosions against foreign forces resulted from roadside bombs which, to a large extent, damaged the roads linking Kandahar City with districts.
Agha Lalai Dastagir, a member of the district tribal council, said the Taliban had distributed night letters in the area, asking people to stay indoors at night because of bombs.
"The letter says whenever a bomb is detonated on civilians, the victim should pay 30,000 afghanis ($620), because the bomb is meant to hit foreigners or government officials," he said.
Provincial police chief, Brig. Gen. Abdul Razaq, also confirmed the claim, saying the militants had warned residents of Panjwai, Zherai and Khakrez districts of fines when the bombs exploded without hitting tanks.
But Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi denied issuing night letters and planting roadside bombs. He also denied fining civilians, and said illegal armed groups might be posing as Taliban.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.