Hundreds of passengers stranded as Taliban close Paktia highway
GARDIZ (Pajhwok): Taliban have closed the Gardez-Patan highway connecting six districts of southern Paktia province, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded, residents said on Tuesday.
Hundreds of passengers stranded in Chamkani and other districts of the province asked the government to take all possible steps to reopen the busy road as soon as possible.
One of the passengers, Akbar Gul, told Pajhwok Afghan News: “We came from Kabul yesterday and wanted to go to Zazai Aryub district, but our trip has been halted by the road blockade.”
He urged the authorities and militants not to block highways or create problems for passengers. Residents of six districts travelled the highway whose closure had created heavy problems for them, Gul added.
A resident of the Andwam area of Mirzaki district, Rozaddin, alleged the Taliban blew up two bridges and opened gunfire into the areaon Monday.He claimed the rebels warned through loudspeakers residents against travelling the road.
“Now no one can travel the road. People are stranded on both sides,” he said, adding passengers were worried about fresh fighting in the area, the man said, recalling they had encountered a similar situation last year.
The governor’s spokesman, Naqibullah Atal, confirmed the road blockade but said security forces have arrived to reopen it as soon as possible.The highway blockade also closed roads to Dand-i-Patan, Chamkani, Janikhel, Zazai Aryub, Ahmadkhel, Laja Mangal and Mirzaki districts.
Last year also, the insurgents had blocked the highway for traffic for several days.The militants have not yet commented on the closure this time.
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