Baghlan residents forced into digging trenches for Taliban
PUL-I-KHUMRI (Pajhwok): Some residents of northern Baghlan province on Saturday accused the Taliban of forcing them to dig trenches for the fighters.
Over the past 10 days, the militants have been digging trenches and browbeating localsto help them, a resident of the Darqad village of Dand-i-Ghori district told Pajhwok Afghan News on condition of anonymity.
“The insurgents bring together people and force them to dig trenches. They takes dozens of youth for work daily,” he alleged, saying the residents had no option but to comply with rebel orders.
Meanwhile, the deputy police chief, Col. Abdul Rashid Bashir,verified the digging of trenches by the Taliban, saying such a step would not bust the moral of the security personnel.
“Plans for a clearing operation in the area have been drawn up. The security forces will destroy all trenches of Taliban,” the police officer pledged.
Separately, people complained of disruptions of telecommunication services in some parts of the provincefrom 6pm to 6am.
A resident of Shahabuddin village, Mohammad Gul, said the Taliban had warned telecommunication companies to switch off their towers at night.
Subscribers faced problems in informing relatives or friends in emergency situationslike evacuating patients to hospital or informing relatives in case of death, he said.
Two nights back when his wife was in labour, he wanted to call the ambulance service, but there was no signal. He and his wife had to walk for an hour to the main roadat night, the man said.
But Director of Telecommunications and Information TechnologyFaiz Mohammad Arghand said dozens of towers had been installed in Taliban-controlled areas.
Each antenna costs more than $500,000. The destruction of towers would inflict heavy losses on the government and that was why services of the government-run Salam Company remained off at night, he argued.
Private telecommunication firms Roshan, Etisalat, Afghan Wireless Communications Company (AWCC) and MTN stopped operations at nights for similar reason, he concluded.
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