In search of officials, Taliban block Ghazni roads
GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): Taliban militants have blocked highways connecting five districts to the provincial capital in southern Ghazni province, officials said on Sunday.
The roads have been blocked since yesterday in Khogyani, Jaghatu, Malistan, Jaghori and Nahor districts, with efforts being made to reopen the routes, the deputy governor told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Mohammad Ali Ahmadi said the armed militants stopped and searched people on the roads and forced suspected passengers out of vehicles.
“The Taliban have been meting out atrocities to the peoples of many provinces, including Ghazni, over the past 13 years and now they have resorted to closing roads,” the deputy governor said.
He said government officials could not travel to districts, where roads had been blocked, thus creating problems for local populations.
Ahmadi said efforts had been launched to reopen the roads, but stopped short of going into detail.
Provincial council member Hamida Gulistani said besides the five districts, the main road in the Qarah Bagh district had also been closed. She said the insurgents stopped vehicles and searched passengers to look for their opponents.
“The provincial government should launch operations to get reopened these roads because the Taliban intimidate common people on accusations of being government servants,” the public representative said.
A resident of the Jaghatu district, Ali Hussain, told Pajhwok Afghan News the Taliban had closed the main road in Qeyagh area of the Khogyani district and forced passengers to disembark.
“The Taliban do searches and they pull out government officials from vehicles and take them along besides harassing local residents,” Hussain said.
He said the reportedly masked gunmen had established post-like structures on roads to search people.
A resident of the Khogyani district, Obaidullah, told Pajhwok Afghan News he owned a shop in the district bazaar, but could not travel to Ghazni City to bring commercial goods.
Pajhwok tried to seek comments in this regard from the provincial police headquarters, but failed.
While the Taliban confirmed they had launched searches on roads in many districts. Their spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid denied if the fighters harassed civilians.
He said the searches had been launched on the basis of “special reports.” However, he did not elaborate.
Mujahid said so far no official or civilian had been captured, but the searches continued.
Last year, the Taliban had blocked roads in some districts, but they were driven as a result of an operation.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.