Govt asked to drive rebels from Shinwari zone
JALALABAD (Pajhwok): The National Movement and Change Council on Monday asked the government to conduct operations to prevent possible infiltration of armed militant groups into the Shinwari zone of eastern Nangarhar province.
Clashes that erupted between Taliban and Islamic State fighters few months ago in the Shinwari zone had displaced many families.
It is said many civilians have suffered casualties besides damages to their properties as a result of the clashes, but exact figures are not known.
However, a powerful lawmaker from Nangarhar, Hazrat Ali, on Sunday claimed the Daesh fighters had so far killed more than 600 civilians and held captive another 270 in the Shinwari zone, urging people of eastern provinces to stage uprisings against the group.
Members of the National Movement and Change Council on Monday held a gathering in Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province, saying the security situation in the Shinwari zone was worsening with the passage of time and many people had suffered losses as a result.
The group’s leader, Haji Noor Agha Malakzai, told the gathering: “According to our information, weapons are being supplied to these outfits (Taliban and Daesh) and military uniforms being sewn for them probably in the same districts.”
Malakzai did not provide further details in this regard and the governor’s house has so far not reacted to his claim.
Malakzai said many tribal elders in the Shinwari Zone had been forced to flee homes to avoid being captured or killed by the armed militants.
“The elders and residents of the Shinwari Zone have been in contact with us over the telephone. They provide us reports about the security situation in their areas, but they cannot attend meetings due to security concerns.”
Another participant of the gathering, Abdul Rahman Moawin, said: “The security situation has deteriorated in the Shinwari zone, but operations have been launched in the Khogyani district. Such operations should be carried out in the Shinwari zone.”
The operation “Iron Triangular” was launched in the Khogyani zone about 20 days ago. Security officials say the offensive is aimed at purging the area from militants.
Moawin added such an operation in the Shinwari zone was crucial because the security situation there had historically worsened.
Other speakers held similar views and said the situation in the Shinwari zone threatened nearby regions.
Selab Military Corps deputy commander Gen. Mohammad Ali Shujai told Pajhwok Afghan News the operation in Khogyani had been launched on the basis of necessity.
“We conduct all operations on the basis of necessity. Several insurgents have been killed in the Khogyani operation and the area has been cleared of their presence. Similar operations will be launched in other areas if needed,” he said.
The emergence and clashes between armed militant groups have terrified local residents in the Shinwari zone.
A day earlier, a big gathering in Jalalabad accused the government of negligence in dealing with the situation in the zone.
The participants said the government should take action against Daesh in Nangarhar, otherwise they would themselves pick up guns to stage uprisings against the group.
But security officials say the clashes between Taliban and Daesh groups are in the interest of the government because so far many insurgents have been killed in these firefights.
They say more than 100 militants have been killed in airstrikes alone.
The two groups have so far said nothing about their clashes.
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