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Andar residents up in arms against Taliban

Andar residents up in arms against Taliban

May 21, 2012 - 16:10

GHAZNI CITY (PANinfo-icon): Residents of Andar district in southern Ghazni province on Monday said that they rose against the Talibaninfo-icon for closing schools in the town.

In recent weeks, the district has been rocked by a a series of clashes between Taliban and Hezb-i-Islamiinfo-icon Afghanistaninfo-icon (HIA) militants, causing casualties on both two sides.

Locals said area people, not the HIA, were fighting against the Taliban. Residents wanted the insurgents to reopen the schools immediately, an elder from the Chardiwal area told Pajhwok Afghan News.

"I am very happy that people have realised the problem and are now supporting the government," said Mohammad Khan. The rebels did not let people earn a livelihood for their children, he alleged.

As a result, Andar residents felt angry over the closure of schools in the district for more than a month and a half, said Jan Mohammad, 23. They were tired of Taliban’s activities and want to live in peace, he added.

"It’s encouraging that the masses have turned against the fighters. I’m also against the militants," he said, adding they wanted the schools to reopen without delay in addition to the launch of reconstructioninfo-icon schemes.

Ghazni police chief, Brig. Gen. Zahid Zarawar, said:  "The people have eventually recognised their foes and they will no more let them destabilise the district."

The police chief added some HIA commanders had also joined hands with the people against the Taliban. But Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid rejected the impression that locals were fighting against the militants.

He insisted tribal militias and HIA members were fighting against them. A team of Taliban leaders had been dispatched to the area and the issue would be resolved soon, he explained.

Mujahid also spurned the claim of Andar and Deh Yak residents that the Taliban had kept closed 60 schools for a month and a half.



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