Taliban tear ID, voter cards in Jawzjan
On the other hand, the insurgents confirm the main highway closure, but deny tearing people’s ID or election cards.
On Sunday, the Independent Election Commission officially launched the voter registration process for the 2014 presidential and provincial council elections, giving new cards to four million eligible people.
Passengers, who commute on the Shiberghan-Qush Tepa highway, claimed the Taliban tore apart their ID and election cards and threatened them with death if they participated in the elections.
One of them, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Pajhwok Afghan News the Taliban had established check-posts on the highway in Mehtab and Arabha areas, searching people for the cards.
He said the insurgents had warned people not to go to registration centres and avoid cooperating with or joining the local police force; otherwise they would be put to death.
The resident claimed the Taliban have also warned residents against attending funerals for local policemen killed by them. “The Taliban would do nothing against those quitting the local police,” he quoted the insurgents as warning people.
Some drivers on the route say they avoid carrying ID cards with them fearing Taliban’s wrath.
A driver, who wished anonymity, said the Taliban ripped apart his ID card and warned him against going to a voter registration center. He confirmed tearing election and ID cards of passengers by the Taliban and death threats to them.
The Qush Tepa district chief, Aminullah, said two Taliban commanders named Qari Aman and Mukhlis were involved in destroying people’s ID and voter cards on the highway.
But Col. Syed Zamanuddin Hussain, the provincial deputy police chief, expressed his unawareness. He said they had received no complaint or intelligence report indicating the Taliban had established posts along the highway.
However, he confirmed the Taliban were operating in the Arabha area, where they carried out attacks against government forces.
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, who confirmed closure of the highway by their fighters, he rejected as baseless rumors that the rebels had warned people with death.
He said the fighters intercepted people on the highway to encourage them to join the movement and avoid cooperation with the government. He also rejected tearing ID and voter cards.
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