Helmand-Kandahar highway blockade enters 3rd week
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): The Helmand-Kandahar highway has remained close to traffic over the past two weeks due to lawlessness, officials said on Saturday.
Mohammad Raza, Special Forces Unit commander in southern Helmand province, told Pajhwok Afghan News due to insecurity the flow of traffic had been banned on the Helmand-Kandahar highway and efforts to reopen the important highway had been launched.
“So far we have defused many roadside bombs and forced the militants to flee in the vicinity of the highway on both sides, he said”
Reza added, the Taliban insurgents had planted many landmines along the road and the residents feared to travel on the highway.
Abdul Qayoom, a soldier in the area, said that militants have been driven from the area, but threats were still existed in some part of the highway.
Syed Mohammad, the resident of locality said, “The highway is blocked and the passengers are obliged to travel through the village that is under the Taliban’s control.”
Besides passengers, farmers also faced hurdles to timely transfer their harvest of water-melon and melon to Lashkargah, the provincial capital.
Helmand Governor Hayatullah Hayat confirmed the highway between Helmand and Kandahar was blocked to traffic from the past few days.
“The Taliban have planted landmine along the roadside and it was the only issue,” claimed Hayat. He said the landmine threats were still there on two kilometers way which will be cleared soon.
He said the militants did not allowed security forces to defuse landmines and opened firing from Wazir, Manda and some other villages situated along the route.
However he said the security forces number had been increased on the highway and it would be soon reopened for traffic.
The highway closure triggered hike in the price of food items and other commodities.
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