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‘40 civilians killed in Khas Uruzgan, Malistan clashes’

‘40 civilians killed in Khas Uruzgan, Malistan clashes’

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Nov 06, 2018 - 17:38

MALISTAN (Pajhwok): A government delegation on Tuesday confirmed the killing of 40 civilians in recent clashes between Talibaninfo-icon militants and an illegal commander in central Uruzgan and Ghazni provinces.

The delegation visited Khas Uruzgan district of Uruzgan province and Malistan district of Ghazni after many civilians suffered casualties during recent clashes between Taliban militants and illegal commander Shujai in Khas Uruzgan district.

The clashes erupted over a woman case in Kundulan and Hussaini villages of Khas Uruzgan district. Local residents say the armed clash began after a number of local elders gathered to discuss the case. The Taliban also engaged in the fight later.

The Taliban in separate statements said that Hakim Shujai, a pro-government commander, was injured and a number of his illegal armed men killed in the clashes.

Kundulan and Hussaini villages of Khas Uruzgan district share border with Malistan district of Ghazni province.

The government delegation headed by presidential advisor Asadullah Falah has been sent to the two districts for investigation by President Ashraf Ghani.

The delegation comprises representatives of the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Interior, National Directorate of Security (NDSinfo-icon), Attorney General Office (AGO), and Administrative Office of the President.

The delegation visited both Khas Uruzgan and Malistan districts and discussed the issue with local officials on Monday.

Asadullah Falah, head of the delegation, while visiting Malistan district, told Pajhwok Afghan News that they had started a comprehensive investigation of the incident.

He said they met with security, civil officials and local elders in Khas Uruzgan district and in Malistan district.

He said the battle was not a tribal conflict but a fight between Taliban, government forces and pro-government armed men.

The Taliban attacked residential buildings and villages and caused casualties to civilians, he said, adding around 500 families had been displaced as a result of the conflict.

Falah added 40 civilians including womeninfo-icon and children had been killed in the fight. However, he did not say who caused the civilian casualties.

He said the delegation would be in the area until they completed their investigation.

Imaminfo-icon Zaman, Malistan district chief, also said the battle was not a tribal issue but the Taliban assaulted local people and government forces.

After Khas Uruzgan, the Taliban launched attacks on Sher Dagh village of Malistan district and killed 11 soldiers and scores of civilians, he added. More than 2,000 families were displaced as result of the battle.

Khadim Ali, a Hazara and resident of Malistan district, told Pajhwok that they had been living together with Pashtuns for long years and developed close relations and businesses with them. He said the clash was not a sectarian violence but a Taliban’s assault on the people.

mds/ma

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