2 held for giving project money to Taliban
QALAT/KHOST CITY (Pajhwok): Two members of a village council have been arrested for allegedly giving money to Taliban insurgents in southern Zabul province, police said on Saturday.
Police chief Brig. Gen. Ghulam Sakhi Rogh Lewanai told Pajhwok Afghan News the detainees, residents of the Kajirkhel village of Shahjoy district, were members of the development council created under the National Solidarity Programme (NSP). One of them was head of the village council and the other secretary, the police chief said.
The two were detained for allegedly giving insurgents money allocated for NSP projects, education and vaccination campaigns, he said.
He said the two men had confessed to giving the Taliban 220,000 Pakistani rupees, which had been set aside for projects in the Kajirkhel village.
Kajirkhel council head Abdul Hadi told reporters at the provincial police headquarters that the Taliban had kidnapped the council’s secretary.
He said they had 200,000 Pakistani rupees, which they gave to Taliban to secure the release of the secretary. He said the Taliban freed the secretary, Qamaruddin, after receiving the money.
Qamaruddin also said they had never given money to the Taliban on their free will. He said they had been planning to use the money to construct small bridges in their village.
In southeastern Khost province, a bomb blast ripped through an Afghan National Army (ANA)’s pick up vehicle, killing one soldier and injuring another.
The blast took place in a square in Khost City, the provincial capital, at about 1:30pm on Saturday, the governor’s spokesman said.
Mubariz Mohammad Zadran said the landmine had been placed on the side of the road and was detonated as the military vehicle passed by. He said the injured soldier was in stable condition.
A shopkeeper, Syed Karim, giving an eyewitness account, said he saw one soldier hanging from the vehicle after the blast.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast.
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