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Commuters say insecurity worsens on Balkh-Jawzjan road

Commuters say insecurity worsens on Balkh-Jawzjan road

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Nov 18, 2018 - 19:19

MAZAR-i-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Growing security incidents have multiplied problems of passengers and drivers on the highway between northern Balkh and Jawzjan provinces.

Drivers and passengers often get trapped in clashes between armed militants and security forces on the Mazar-i-Sharif-Shiberghan highway in the north of the country.

And sometimes gunmen search vehicles and take money and other valuables from passengers and drivers, but in the past few months, insecurity has increased in Chahar Boluk district of Balkh and Aqcha district of Jawzjan province, making insecure the Mazar-i-Sharif-Shiberghan highway there as well.

Zabihullah, a resident of Aqcha district who is also a driver, said travelling on the highway was terrifying.

He said passenger vehicles sometimes get caught in crossfire between Talibaninfo-icon and security forces on the highway, in which civilians suffer casualties.

“One civilian was killed and 20 others injured recently when a 404 passenger bus came under attack during a clash between Taliban and security forces in Chahar Boluk district,” he said.

Ghulam Nabi, a resident of Faryab province, who wanted to travell from Mazar-i-Sharif to Faryab, said he feared dacoits and clashes between security forces and Taliban on the highway.

He said there were two or three locations along the highway where armed robbers appear and stop buses.

Nabi said earlier he would transfer animal hides from Maimana, Faryab’s capital, to Mazar-i-Sharif once a week but now he transferred the animal skins once or twice a month due to insecurity on the highway.

Balkh Provincial Council head Mohammad Afzal Hadid expressed concern over what he said growing insecurity on the Mazar-i-Sharif-Jawzjan highway and said confirmed receiving multiple complaints regarding insecurity on the road.

He said growing movement of militants in Chahar Boluk, Aqcha and Mingjik districts had made the highway insecure.

He said common people were complaining about clashes between security forces and Taliban on the road, in addition to armed robberies.

He said it was the responsibility of the Afghan National Army’s 209th Shaheen Military Corps to secure the highway.

Hanif Rezae, spokesman for the Shaheen Military Corps, said the militants in a bid to show themselves powerful were attacking common people and passenger vehicles on the highway.

He said there was no specific location of insurgents on the highway, but they used to come on the road and escape after seeing security forces patrol in the area.

He said the Shaheen Corps had formed a special battalion force for security of the highway but the force would spring into action after Chahar Boluk and Aqcha districts were cleared of the Taliban.

nh/ma

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