Taliban block Tirinkot-Gizab highway
TIRINKOT (Pajhwok): The Taliban militants have closed a key road in central Uruzgan province, creating problems for residents, particularly patients, an official said on Wednesday.
The road between Tirinkot, the provincial capital, and Gizab district has been closed over the past four days, the governor’s spokesman, Dost Mohammad Nayel, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
He said the Taliban had shut the highway in reaction to the closure of smuggling routes by security forces in the town, preventing logistic supplies to the rebels.
The official said the Taliban insisted they would not reopen the highway until government forces removed check-pots along the route in Gizab.
He said the highway closure had plunged Gizab residents into numerous problems and they could not take their patients to the provincial capital.
Gizab district chief, Dr. Abdullah, said the highway had been blocked against security forces and civilians since Friday. The rebels distributed pamphlets on Friday, warning residents against travelling on the highway, he said.
The official said a large number of drivers and common people daily visited the district headquarters to register complaints against the highway closure.
Abdullah said the blockade had resulted in increased prices of food items in the district and the worst suffers were patients.
A driver, Mohammad Gul, said he had been unable to go to Tirinkot for the last five days. “The situation of patients is deplorable. If the highway is not reopened at the earliest, many patients could die.”
A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yusuf Ahmadi, rejected if the fighters had closed the road for local residents. He said the Taliban had kept blocked the road for security forces over the last 10 years, but convoys travelled it and came under attack from rebels.
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