Armed groups in control of Badakhshan azure mine
FAIZABAD (PAJWOK): Ruling out presence of Taliban in the Karan-u-Minjan district of the northeastern Badakhshan province, officials acknowledged armed groups were in control of azure mine in the district.
Zabihullah Mujahid, Taliban’s spokesman, also claimed control of the rich azure mine in the district.
In his email to Pajhwok Afghan News, the insurgents’ group spokesman said 44 policemen deployed for the protection of mine had been arrested by the militants.
But Gul Mohammad Baidar, deputy governor, rejected Taliban claims, insisting neither were any Taliban in the mineral’s rich area nor policemen arrested.
The local armed group claimed they had the right to extract the mine currently controlling 50 percent of the azure reserves.
The extraction contract of the riches had already been awarded to an Afghan company.
Two days back, local officials claimed illegal militants had stormed the azure mine, but had no details on the casualties.
The deputy governor said a government delegation headed by Badakhshan governor visited Karan-u-Minjan district and discussed some issues with the provincial council members and other influential of the locality.
He held out assurances that police would be deployed for the protection of the mine.
The presidential office formed a delegation in a move to ascertain and compile a report of ground realities with regard of Kiran-o-Minjan azure mine.
Badakhshan azure mine is considered one of the best quality azures in the world. The amount of the azure is estimated at around 1,290 tons. Azure is among the precious stones used for decoration.
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