Targeted killings on the rise in Nangarhar
JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Targeted killings have dramatically increased over the past few months in eastern Nangarhar province, where 360 civilians lost their lives to such attacks in one district alone last solar year.
So far a large number of government officials and civilians fallen prey to targeted killings that residents say are aimed to spread terror ahead of the April 5 elections.
Concerned about increasing insecurity in Chaparhar district, resident Nimat Sharifzai told Pajhwok Afghan News most people across the province were in panic.
He said in Chaparhar, dozens of civilians and governments officials had been killed. “The militants take people out of homes, kill them in front of their houses or elsewhere.”
Chaparhar district chief Qazi Nazir said six government officials had been killed in targeted attacks in the town, where 260 civilians were lost to various security incidents last solar year that ended on Saturday.
The district chief said the Taliban had no courage to enter a face-to-face fight with security forces and thus resorting to roadside bombings and suicide attacks.
A Behsud district resident, shaoor, said his father Mohammad Salam was killed when explosives planted in front of their house were detonated.
“Before my father’s death, my brother was killed by unknown gunmen, who are now threatening me.”
He said the spree of targeted killings had intensified and security organs were required to come with remedial measures.
A Haska Mena district resident, Rabi Gul, 10 Afghan National Army troops, including a commander, four tribal elders and a prayer leader had been killed in targeted killings in the district.
Syed Rahman Momand, the Achin district chief, said his deputy, four ANA personnel, as many civilians were killed in targeted assassinations and several others injured.
His Khogyani district counterpart, Rahmanullah, said dozens of government officials and civilians had fallen prey to targeted killings in the town. He said five people were killed by the insurgents in his village alone. “There were others who died in roadside bomb blasts.”
A Batikot district dweller, Dr. Amin, said they witnessed a number of targeted killing incidents taking place in the district last solar year.
A resident of Jalalabad, the provincial capital, Baidar, said more targeted killings took place in the city than districts. He said bodies had been found on the city’s outskirts under mysterious circumstances.
“Four people have been killed in the Majborabad area, in addition to many others died in bomb blasts.”
He said the massive attack on a police station in the city two days ago was part of targeted killings. That attack left 10 policemen, seven militants and a student dead.
Pajhwok has been trying for the past two weeks to seek comments from security officials regarding the growing insecurity in Nangarhar, but failed to do so.
However, provincial police spokesman Hazrat Hussain told Pajhwok they registered 167 murder cases in Nangarhar last year.
Political expert Ahmad Shakoor Zaman said the number of casualties in Nangarhar was higher last solar year compared to the past 12 years.
He said the insurgents wanted to create problems at a time when the country was passing through a sensitive phase in the wake of upcoming elections and US/NATO troops’ drawdown.
“If the intelligence department is given more powers, the problems can reduce. But the service lacks resources it needs.”
The governor’s spokesman, Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, said all security organs were trying to turn the tide against insecurity.
“Security forces have been able to thwart hundreds of security incidents, including suicide attacks, during the year.”
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.