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Taliban close key highways against traffic

Taliban close key highways against traffic

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Jun 26, 2018 - 20:02

KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok):  Talibaninfo-icon militants have closed the Kandahar-Kabulinfo-icon and Kabul-Herat highways against traffic in central Maidan Wardak province, officials said on Tuesday.

The Taliban have told transporters to stop plying the routes till further order from them and have threatened violators with harsh punishment.

An official with Mirwais Neka bus service firm, who wished to go unnamed, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the Taliban had warned transporters over the telephone against traveling on the Kandahar-Kabul and Kandahar-Herat highways till further orders from their side.

As a result of the threat, no vehicle traveled from Kandahar to Kabul and Heart on Tuesday, said the official, who did not know what the Taliban wanted.

“Maybe the Taliban plan to conduct raids against security forces on the routes,” he suspected, urging the government to drive the rebels from the roads.

The bus service official said the highway closures inflicted millions afghanis loss on public and private transport companies.

He further added hundreds of passengers including ailing people faced great inconvenience due to the situation.

A driver in southern Kandahar province Dur Mohammad told Pajhwok that he stayed home and did not travel fearing Taliban’s wrath.

He said many vehicles loaded with commercial goods, fresh fruits and others remained stuck due to Taliban’s ban.

He feared if the roads stayed closed for many days, it would cause financial losses to the government and people.

Abdul Rahman, a resident of Kandahar, who wanted to travel to capital Kabul along with a sick relative, told Pajhwok: “I with my family went to the bus stand last night at around 3:00am, but the firm officials told us the Taliban hadm threatened them against travelling.”

However, provincial police spokesman Zia Durrani told Pajhwok that there was no such issue and people could travel fearlessly.

The Taliban emerged on the Kabul-Kandahar highway in central Maidan Wardak province after 8pm yesterday’s night.

The group spokesman ZabihullahMujahid in a letter had said civilians should not travel till they were informed back in order to avoid causalities.

pk/ma

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