Mortar shell kills electricity department official in Sangin
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): A contractual employee of the electricity department of southern Helmand province has been killed after being hit by a mortar shell, an official said on Sunday.
Helmand power department head Eng. Nasrullah Qani told Pajhwok Afghan News that the employee, Mohammad Hussain, was on his way to Sangin district where a mortar shell hit him.
He said it was unclear who and from which direction the shell was fired. He said several electricity department officials had been killed in violence related incidents in Sangin and that was why the department had hired employees on contracts and Hussain was among them.
He said there had been a tussle between local residents and Taliban militants since last two weeks over electricity connections and as a result, local people had cut the power supply lines.
As a result of the tussle, he said, the Taliban had blown up a power pylon in an area between Sangin and Kajaki districts.
But the deputy director of the power department in neighbouring Kandahar province, Amanullah Ayubi, said the people of Kajaki had disconnected the electricity because they demanded more power supply than the past.
During the crisis when power supply to Lashkargah and Kandahar City was disconnected, the power department officials also disconnected electricity to the opposition side, he said.
Ayubi said the issue was on Sunday resolved in light of a previous agreement but when Hussain went to the area to repair the broken cables he was on his when hit by a mortar shell and died.
The two officials did not say who fired the mortar but added a clash was ongoing in the area.
Several electricity officials have been killed in bomb blasts and security incidents in Sangin.
The power supply lines to Kandahar and Lashkargah cities traverse through Sangin and Kajaki districts under a memorandum of understanding between local residents and Taliban.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.