Drug smugglers finance rebels in north: Gen. Hameed
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): A senior military commander on Saturday said drug smugglers supported the insurgents and were trying to keep alive the conflict in northern Afghanistan.
Gen. Abdul Hameed Hameed, the 209 Shaheen Military Corps commander in the north, told a press conference in Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of northern Balkh province that the involvement of drug smugglers in the conflict served as the biggest logistic supplies chain.
He said they had obtained documents showing 30 percent income of drug smugglers was spent on insurgent operations’ costs.
The commander said drug mafias were trying to keep the conflict running in the north to prolong their illicit business. He said security forces had taken considerable measures at preventing drug smuggling during the past one year.
Gen. Hameed said the enemy had nefarious designs in the north this year, but they could not reach their goals due to hectic efforts by security forces.
He said the enemy wanted to capture some provinces, block highways and create hurdles for business activities.
This year, he said, 73 security operations were carried out in which 2,869 militants were killed, 1,608 injured and 148 captured alive. But security threats remained in some provinces in the north, he admitted.
He said these threats existed in four districts of Badakhshan province, in three districts of Takhar, five districts of Kunduz, three districts of Sari Pul, two districts of Samangan, three districts of Jawzjan and four districts of Faryab province.
He said four operations were underway in these provinces against militants, alleging that international and regional spy agencies were complicit in the ongoing conflict in the north.
He said the number of militants and their supporters reached 1117 in the northern zone and they included 600 those linked to foreign and regional intelligence agencies.
He said Pakistani, Arab and central Asian terrorists were fighting against Afghan security forces in northern Afghanistan.
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