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    Pro-govt elders shot dead in Helmand

    LASHKARGAH (PAN): Two pro-government tribal elders were shot dead in a militant ambush in the restive southern province of Helmand, an official said on Saturday.

    The insurgents gunned down the Sangin district social council members in the Nasozai area late on Friday, the town’s administrative head, Mohammad Sharif Khan, told Pajhwok Afghan New.

    Haji Abdul Salam and Matiullah Jan came under attack while returning on motorbikes from the opening ceremony for a security checkpoint in the area, the district chief said.

    The slayings would have a negative effect on the security situation in Sangin, because the elders stoutly supported Afghan soldiers and police, Sharif Khan said.

    Another government official, Abdul Wakil Asak said the elders would arrange weekly meetings in different areas to promote awareness among locals about peace, stability and reconstruction.

    With the Taliban yet to comment on the incident, authorities say 24 members of seven district social councils have been killed in attacks so far.

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