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    Uruzgan resident deny refuge to rebels

    TIRINKOT (PAN): Thousands of people, who gathered in the capital of central Uruzgan province on Thursday, vowed not to give militants refuge in their areas and resist their efforts at harassing dwellers.

    The meeting was attended by tribal elders, religious scholars, youth and influential figures coming all the way from Tirinkot and adjacent areas, including Talani, Haram Shah, Yak Langai and Surkhom.

    Residents of Uruzgan had suffered a lot at the hands of the Taliban, said tribal elder Malik Mohammad Wali, who accused the insurgents of killing innocent people on charges of cooperating with the government.  He said the harassment forced residents to pick up guns against the rebels to protect their families.

    "We are tortured by armed groups for the last 30 years," another tribal chief, Malik Ali Mohammad, said, vowing they would not allow miscreants to leave their mothers and sisters mourning over the death of their kin.

    Another speaker Lal Mohammad said if insurgents' fight was against foreign troops, they should stop it because foreigners had left the city.

    He said since foreign troops were all set to leave the country next year, Afghans had to come forward and preserve the gains they had achieved over the past decade.

    The gathering decided to burn houses of those found guilty of sheltering militants before being sent into exile.

    nz/ma



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