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    Kabul-Jalalabad highway reopens

    JALALABAD (PAN): The Kabul-Jalalabad highway, which was closed by protesters in the Momand Dara district of eastern Nangarhar province, reopened on Sunday morning.

    The protest started at 8am and ended around noon, Malak Saida Jan, a local tribal elder, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

    Thousands of protesters gathered against strongmen from Achin and Speen Ghar districts who had grabbed 300 acres land in Momand Dara, he said, adding they would continue their protest until the government returned their land.

    The highway was closed by the protesters at several points from Ghanikhel to Marko Bazaar, said Noor Agha Kamran, the Momand Dara district chief.  

    He promised they would retake the land from grabbers by Monday evening, otherwise Momand Dara residents would again close the highway.

    Under the Daud Khan Master Plan, a housing scheme was to be constructed over the land, as ordered by President Hamid Karzai, said Mian Zahir Shah, a tribal elder from the district. They would continue their protest, Shah vowed.

    A government delegation had assured hundreds of local elders that they would resolve the problem by Monday evening, said Muhammad Usman Khan Momand, deputy director of the district development council.

    Although blocking the highway was not a wise act, if the problem was not resolved, they would close it again, he threatened.