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Govt takes control of Kapisa mines after 13 years

Govt takes control of Kapisa mines after 13 years

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Feb 12, 2017 - 16:18

MAHMOOD RAQI (Pajhwok): The government has retaken control of some important mineral deposits in the Ala Sai district of central Kapisa province after 13 years, local officials say.

Ghulam Naqshbandi Sapi, the district chief, told Pajhwok Afghan News militants had long been in control of the riches existed in the district centre and Hassanabad area.

Now Afghan security forces have taken control of areas where the mines are located, bringing to a halt the illegal mining.

“Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers, national police and Afghan Local Police personnel have been deployed in the district and militant activities have reduced to a greater extent,” he added.

He said the mineral deposits in Ala Sai district came under government’s control after 13 years.

Sapi said militants and local residents had been involved in the illegal mining and the riches were smuggled to Pakistaninfo-icon and sold at high price, with some residents earning huge sums of money.

Haji Ghulam Nabi, a local resident, said several mines of precious stones existed in Askin locality and were mined by anti-government elements.

He rejected the government had taken control of the mines, saying there was no security check posts in the area. He said precious stones were smuggled to Pakistan via Laghman and Nangarhar provinces.

Eng. Aziz, head of the petroleum and mining department, acknowledged some Kapisa natural resources were being dug up illegally.   

“Teams of mining and petroleum could not travel to these areas because there was insecurity and no government control,” he said.

 Police spokesman Mohammad Ayub Yousufzai said militants were driven from the areas as a result of clearing operations and all routes used for smuggling the riches were closed on rebels.

He pledged to bring all natural riches of Ala Saei under government control.

nh/ma

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