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Efforts on to protect civilians in Achin district

Efforts on to protect civilians in Achin district

Jul 13, 2015 - 16:11

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Officials on Monday said security posts were being increased to prevent civilians from being harmed during clashes between the Talibaninfo-icon and Islamic State groups in the Achin district of eastern Nangarhar province.

Recent clashes between the two groups have reportedly left at least eight civilians dead and a large number of families displaced in the Mamond area of the district.

Police spokesman Col. Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal told Pajhwok Afghan News the Nangarhar police chief visited the district a day earlier and directed security officials to increase the number of security posts for the protection of civilians’ lives.

“Police chief Brig. Gen. Fazl Ahmad Sherzad, who headed a delegation, inspected security posts in the district and recommended increase in and strengthening of security posts.”

Meanwhile, Governor Salim Khan Kunduzi confirmed to Pajhwok Afghan News the displacement of many families and burning of houses in the Achin district as a result of clashes between the two groups.

“We have reports civilian homes have been torched. The Islamic State group says they were attacked from these homes, but we are investigating,” the governor said.

The governor said some families had migrated from the Achin district to the Ghanikhel district, but did not reveal their numbers.

This scribe visited the Achin district on Monday and was told by a displaced person, Nimatullah, in Pandola area: “I with my family arrived here three days ago from the Mamond area. Here we reside with relatives.”

Nimatullah said they faced numerous problems and his 11-member family included five children. “We don’t want food from the government, we want peace.” He said dozens of other families had left their homes for other areas due to the clashes.

There were no reports about fresh clashes between the Taliban and the IS groups in the district. However, it is said the Afghan forces are preparing for an offensive amid time to time drone strikes in the area.

One of the latest drone strikes took place late on Sunday and according to local officials, a dozen militants, including a shadow governor and a district chief, were killed.

Earlier the spy service said IS Khorasan region chief Maulviinfo-icon Hafiz Saeed and another key commander Shahidullah Shahid had been killed in a US drone strike, but an IS audio tape claimed Saeed was still alive.

The clashes have subsided and would further weaken with the killing of IS leaders.

Governor Kunduzi said the death of Taliban and IS leaders would weaken the morale of the two groups.

The clashes have been periodically ongoing over the past four months, but neither the Taliban nor the IS group have so far commented on the clashes.

ma/ shah

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