Taliban conditionally reopen roads in 3 Paktika districts
SHARAN (Pajhwok): A number of residents of southern Paktika province say the Taliban militants have conditionally reopened roads to three districts after two months of a blockade.
Resident Jan Gul told Pajhwok Afghan News the insurgents had blocked the roads linking Wazikhwa, Tarwa and Warmami districts with Sharan, the capital of the province, for the past two months.
He said the Taliban reopened the roads based on certain conditions. The rebels, he added, wanted the Afghan Local Police (ALP) personnel to tender resignations and the roads be used only for transportation of food and essential items.
Another inhabitant of Wazikhwa district, Bashir Ahmad, said: “We have held talks with the fighters on reopening of the roads. “The Taliban say locals should stop joining ALP and ban the transportation of fuel for security forces.”
Abdul Ghani, who belongs to the same district, said health clinics had also been closed in the area as a result of rebel threats. “The Taliban have warned of killing medics if they open health centres.”
But the provincial police chief, Col. Nisar Ahmad Abdur Rahimzai, asked residents to reject the Taliban’s conditions. “Our people should never surrender to our enemy,” he remarked.
Rahimzai claimed many areas had been wrested back from the Taliban during an operation launched few days ago. Wazikhwa is one of remote districts where militants and Afghan forces frequently clash.
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