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Marble mine owners protest torching of vehicles

Marble mine owners protest torching of vehicles

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Jan 03, 2018 - 20:30

HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): Owners of marble mines on Wednesday brought remains of three torched vehicles in front of the governor’s house in western Herat province in protest against growing insecurity on the Cheshti Sharif road

The protesting individuals said their vehicles were set ablaze by four masked gunmen in military uniform on the Chest-i-Sharif road in Rabat Akhunzada area.

Rokai Malakzai, in charge of the Afghan Herat Marble Mines, told Pajhwok Afghan News their vehicles were destroyed just 200 meters away from the check-point of Public Order Police two days ago and the armed men warned them not to come to the area again.

He said it was not for the first time their vehicles were torched as a similar incident happened last month when one vehicle was torched.

Malakzai criticized what he said irresponsible attitude of security officials. “After 6:00am in the morning, security officials come out of their check-points and charge every vehicle up to 1,000 afghanis and return to their posts in the evening.”

He said when rebels were torching their four vehicles, the drivers rushed to the check-posts and sought help but the security forces responded negatively and said the government did not allow them to react.

Abdul Sami Tokhi, deputy head of Mine Owners Union, expressed concern over growing insecurity on the Chest-i-Sharif road and said most of investors had withdrawn their capitals due to insecurity.

He warned some 10,000 people, working in marble sector, would lose their jobs if insecurity continued.

Governor’s spokesman Jilani Farhad said investigation into insecurity and the arson attack had been launched and strict measures would be put in place to prevent such incidents in future.

Chesti Sharif police chief Sher Agha Alokozai said the Chest-i-Sharif Road became insecure during night and there was no problem at daytime on the road.

He added at night time when telecommunication services were suspended security personnel could not be informed in time.

He claimed some mine owners had connection with militants and provided them money. “When the money is not transferred to the rebels in time, then they torch their vehicles in response.”

Mine owners, however, rejected giving money to the Talibaninfo-icon.

nh/ma

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