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    Mangal spurns Abdullah's claims

    LASHKARGAH (PAN): The Helmand governor on Saturday rejected Dr. Abdullah Abdullah's claims that government departments had weakened and legal decisions in the southern province were being taken by the Taliban based in Pakistan.   

    Afghanistan's National Coalition leader Abdullah has made the claims during an address to a student gathering in Kabul a few days ago.

    But Governor Mohammad Gulab Mangal told a news conference in Lashkargah, the provincial capital, that the allegations were baseless and far from reality.

    "Helmand is peaceful, compared to some other provinces and the government -- using its machinery -- is in control of all districts," Mangal said, adding it did not suit a politician to make groundless claims.

    While inviting Abdullah to visit the province to assess the ground situation, Mangal said village councils had been set up to resolve the problems facing residents.