The AfPak Reader

September 17, 2009

Mainlining Bill Roggio – Summer 2009 – Week 11 – Volume 6

Filed under: Defense News,Enemy Profiles,Summer 2009 — huntingnasrallah @ 12:57 am

Mainlining Bill Roggio – Summer 2009 – Week 11 – Volume 6

Afghan forces and Taliban clash in Kunduz
By Bill Roggio
September 3, 2009 2:44 PM

The Afghan government claimed that a senior Taliban leader was one of 15 Taliban fighters killed during an operation in the restive north.

Engineer Mohammed Omar, the governor of Kunduz province, claimed that Mullah Abdul Salam, the Taliban’s shadow governor for the province, was killed during an operation that was launched in the Qala-i-Zal district yesterday.

But the Taliban denied that Salam was killed during the fighting. A Taliban leader identifying himself as Salam contacted Pajhwok Afghan News and said that the government’s reports were false and that he would continue to fight Afghan and Coalition forces.

Salam is currently number one on the Coalition’s 10-most-wanted list for Kunduz province. He takes direct orders from the Quetta Shura. Earlier this spring, Salam was thought to have fled to Kandahar after ISAF and Afghan forces launched a series of offensives in the province.

Kunduz has been the hub of Taliban activity in the north as the group seeks to pressure the Afghan government from a region previously thought to be secure. Three districts in Kunduz – Chahara Dara, Dashti Archi, and Iman Sahib – are currently contested between the Taliban, and Afghan and Coalition forces. Two districts in neighboring Baghlan province – Baghlan-i-Jadid and Burka – are under the control of the Taliban [see Threat Matrix report, Afghanistan’s wild-wild North].

A strong Taliban presence in Kunduz also puts the Taliban on the border with the Central Asian nations. Control of Kunduz opens up access to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to the North. The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), a grouping of al Qaeda-backed Central Asia extremists, is known to operate in Kunduz with the local Taliban. Four IMU fighters were killed in fighting Aug. 28, while as many as 80 al Qaeda-linked militants, including Uzbeks and Chechens, are operating in areas southwest of Kunduz City.

The IMU, under the command of Mullah Abdullah, sent a force of 300 fighters into the town of Tavil-Dara in Tajikistan and attacked a police station on July 9. Abdullah is thought to have crossed from Kunduz into Tajikistan several weeks before the attack. Eleven days later, the IMU attacked a remote military checkpoint in Tajikistan near the Afghan border. Five IMU fighters were killed during the assault.

The Afghan military, backed by US and German troops, have launched multiple operations to clear the Taliban from contested districts in Kunduz since the spring, but with little effect. Several senior Taliban commanders have been killed during the clashes, however.

Fighting in Kunduz is at a peak, and the month of August saw an exceptional number of clashes between Taliban fighters and Afghan and Coalition forces.

The Taliban have conducted assaults against police checkpoints, killed senior political and military leaders, and kidnapped civilians sending their daughters to school.

List of major incidents in Kunduz since Aug. 3

Sept. 3, 2009: Afghan security forces killed 15 Taliban fighters, and claimed the Taliban’s Shadow governor was also killed.

Sept. 1, 2009: Afghan police killed a Taliban commander and wounded his driver in the Qala-i-Zal district.

Aug. 28, 2009: Afghan forces killed seven Taliban fighters and captured four members of the al Qaeda-linked Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan in Kunduz province.

Aug. 26, 2009: A director of the justice department was killed in a bomb attack on his car in Kunduz province.

Aug. 26, 2009: Security forces killed seven Taliban fighters during an operation in the Hazrat-e-Sultan area of Kunduz.

Aug. 25, 2009: The Taliban killed a policeman in Kunduz.

Aug. 18, 2009: A Taliban commander and nine fighters were killed during a joint operation of Afghan and US forces in Kunduz province.

Aug. 16, 2009: One Afghan Army soldier was killed and four more were wounded during a Taliban ambush.

Aug. 13, 2009: Former President Rabbani survived an ambush on his convoy in Kunduz. Also, police killed and wounded more than 20 Taliban fighters after the Taliban attacked a police station.

Aug. 13, 2009: Eight Taliban fighters and two Afghan security personnel were killed and more than a dozen more fighters and four security men were wounded during an operation in Kunduz province.

Aug. 12, 2009: Taliban fighters attacked the Dashti Archi district headquarters and killed the district police chief and three other policemen.

Aug. 10, 2009: A suicide bomber detonated his explosives-filled car close to an ISAF convoy in Kunduz City.

Aug. 3, 2009: The Taliban kidnapped a woman as she took her daughter to a school in the Bagh Shirkat area of Kunduz province. The Taliban warned families not to send their daughters to schools.
Extended Notes (Roggio’s Links)

Taliban governor among 15 killed
Abdul Matin Sarfaraz – Sep 3, 2009 – 14:56

KUNDUZ CITY (PAN): The governor of Kunduz province says 15 Taliban militants including a senior figure have been killed and 20 others wounded in new operations.

Governor Eng. Muhammad Omar told a news conference on Thursday the fighters were eliminated in fresh crackdowns by government forces.

During an operation in Qala-i-Zal district on Wednesday, Taliban commander and their governor for Kunduz Mullah Abdul Salam was killed.

But a man, introducing himself as Mullah Salam, poured scorn over the gubernatorial assertion. He told Pajhwok Afghan News reports of his death were propaganda. The commander vowed to continue fighting against government and coalition forces.

At the news conference, Omar said more Afghan National Army (ANA) troops had been sent to Qala-i-Zal district to clear it of insurgents.

District chief Moalim Nazir said eight Taliban were killed and five wounded in in Wednesday’s operation that also left a policeman dead.

However, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed five policemen were killed in the fighting. He did not go into the details.

The governor added armed Taliban had killed 14 civilians including a teacher and a doctor over the last two weeks in Khanabad, Char Dara and the provincial capital.

But Mujahid denied Taliban had killed civilians. The governor viewed local tribal militiamen as civilians, he explained.




Afghanistan’s wild-wild North
By Matt Dupee
September 2, 2009 9:34 AM

As policymakers and analysts continue to examine the ever-evolving insurgency in Afghanistan, the Taliban infiltration into northern Afghanistan is finally receiving some much needed attention. Often billed as “the stable and secure” northern areas, Afghanistan’s northern provinces have been the target of a burgeoning Taliban insurgency since 2004. When analyzing the northern conundrum it is imperative to view the situation as the Taliban do: a two-pronged approach that includes establishing a stronghold in the northwest province of Badghis and severing the resupply routes available through the Herat-Badghis Sabzak Pass, the sole entry into northwestern Afghanistan, while establishing a northeastern jump-off point in northern Baghlan and Kunduz Provinces.

Given the recent security events, it is Kunduz Province that certainly warrants a closer inspection. Violence levels in Kunduz have peaked over the past 18 months, and German intelligence reports, as well as Afghan government and tribal elder testimony, suggest that as many as 80 al Qaeda-linked militants, including Uzbeks and Chechens, are operating in areas southwest of Kunduz City. Operations in Kunduz since May confirm the presence of foreign fighters, as nearly a dozen Uzbek fighters have been detained or killed alongside Taliban foot soldiers in various Coalition operations conducted near Kunduz City. Four Uzbeks were nabbed last week, and a suspected Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan compound was raided around the same time.

There are currently 667 German troops stationed at the Kunduz airfield; of which only 340 are combat-ready. Three districts, Chahara Dara, Dashti Archi, and Iman Sahib are currently in contested control of the insurgents. Two districts in neighboring Baghlan, Baghlan-i-Jadid and Burka, remain outside of government control.

Since violence exploded there this spring and summer, three German troops and four American soldiers have been killed in IED attacks in the province. But it is the German presence in Kunduz, and their lack of operational ability, that has frustrated many in the Afghan government and within ISAF.

Last month’s Operation Adler (Eagle), a one-week offensive launched by German troops into the Chahara Dara district, had little to no effect against the entrenched Taliban fighters led by Mullah Salaam and Mullah Shamsullah.

“The last operation against the Taliban in Chahar Dara was unsuccessful, because the soldiers were hardly prepared to stage air strikes,” the long-time governor of Kunduz, Engineer Muhammad Omar, told the media shortly after Operation Adler’s conclusion. “They are overly cautious, and they don’t even get out of their vehicles. They should leave, and the Americans should replace them. The Americans would finally provide security.”

By the end of the week following the operation, the Chahar Dara district governor confirmed that as many as 100 Taliban had returned to the district. This development, as well as the litany of assassinations against key Afghan government officials in Kunduz, including the failed attempts against President Hamid Karzai’s running mate General Fahim and presidential candidate Mullah Salaam “Rocketi” in Kunduz and Baghlan respectively, highlights the growing dangers of operating in the “stable and peaceful” northern areas.



Large Armed Group Attacks Tajik Police Post
July 09, 2009

DUSHANBE — A group of armed men attacked a police checkpoint near the eastern Tajik town of Tavil-Dara overnight, RFE/RL’s Tajik Service reports.

Police fended off the attackers, reportedly wounding several of them, before the armed group retreated.

Tajik officials could not say for certain how many attackers there were, but some officials linked the assailants to a group of some 300 fighters led by Mullo Abdullo who reportedly crossed the border from Afghanistan several weeks ago and have been hiding in the mountains.

Tavil-Dara is located in the rugged Pamir Mountains some 20 kilometers from the Afghan border and during Tajikistan’s 1992-97 civil war was used as a base by Islamist fighters.

The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), a group connected to Al-Qaeda, has also used Tavil-Dara as a basing area in the past and there are concerns the attack may have been carried out by IMU militants who have returned from Afghanistan or Pakistan.

There have also been attacks attributed to IMU militants in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan since late May.



Afghan police kill local Taliban commander in North  2009-09-01 19:57:29

KABUL, Sept.1 (Xinhua) — Police in Afghanistan’s northern Kunduz province killed a local Taliban commander and injured his guard on Tuesday, provincial police chief Abdul Razaq Yaqubi said.

“In the clash, which took place in Qalai Zal district Tuesday afternoon, police killed Mullah Deen Mohammad and injured another, believed to be his bodyguard,” Yaqubi told Xinhua.

Taliban militants have yet to make any comment.

Kunduz, a peaceful province bordering Tajikistan since the collapse of Taliban regime in late 2001, has been experiencing Taliban-led militancy over the past several months since the collapse of Taliban regime in late 2001.

Editor: Anne Tang



Seven militants killed, IMU members detained
Mateen Sarfaraz & Zubair Babakarkhel – Aug 28, 2009 – 15:02

KUNDUZ CITY/KABUL (PAN): Seven insurgents were killed and four members of the Tahir Yaldeshev-led Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) caught alive during an overnight operation in the increasing volatile northern province of Kunduz.

Governor Eng. Muhammad Omar told Pajhwok Afghan News on Friday the operation was jointly conducted by Afghan and NATO-led forces in Chahar Dara district. A Taliban commander named Mullah Omer was among the seven fighters killed in the crackdown.

But the Chahar Dara district chief claimed three civilians were killed during the joint sweep conducted late Thursday night. Contradicting the gubernatorial claim, Abdul Wahid Omerkhel identified the victims as former Hezb-i-Islami commander Haji Taimoor Shah, his spouse and child.

Meanwhile, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said the combined force searched a compound suspected of being used by IMU militants operating in the region.
The troops received fire from the insurgents positioned in different locations, engaged and killed several of them. ISAF said in a statement. One civilian was caught in the crossfire and suffered a gunshot wound to the arm.

The security forces uncovered several rocket-propelled grenades, seven assault rifles, multiple grenades and chest racks. “Among the enemy dead was a female militant who engaged the force, armed with an assault rifle and wearing a full chest rack of ammunition.”

According to the ISAF statement, the force detained a suspected militant and evacuated the wounded civilian to a military hospital for medical treatment.

In southern Kandahar province, the combined force searched a location just west of Kandahar City in pursuit of a Taliban element known to finance and transport weapons and supplies into the region. The forced detained six suspected militants.




Justice director, district chief killed by Taliban
Sarfaraz, Barat & Naadem – Aug 26, 2009 – 17:53

KUNDUZ CITY (PAN): A director of the justice department was killed in a bomb attack on his car in northern Kunduz province early Wednesday morning, an official said.

Provincial police chief, Brig. Gen. Abdul Razzaq Yaqubi, told Pajhwok Afghan News the car of Justice Department Director Qari Jahangir was completely destroyed. None else was harmed by the bomb placed in his vehicle.

In Kabul, the Interior Ministry condemned Wednesday’s attack, claimed by Taliban insurgents. Militant Zabihullah Mujahid immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing.

He said it was remote-controlled blast that also killed three bodyguards of the director. A month back district police chief and brother of Governor Noor Khan was killed in a Taliban assault.

In Kandahar province, Khakrez district chief Haji Wahab was killed and his four bodyguards were wounded in a roadside bomb blast on his way home Tuesday afternoon.
Crimes branch chief, Pashtun Momand, confirmed the blast and said the body of Wahab and the injured guards were taken to Mirwais Hospital after the incident. No one has so far claimed responsibility for the bomb explosion.

In Baghlan province, a Pakistani engineer was killed when armed robbers attacked his car Tuesday morning, Counter-Terrorism Director Col. Ahmad Jan said.

Samangan police chief, Brig. Gen. Abdul Razaq Elkhani, said two Afghan engineers had also been wounded in the attack of robbers. He said the body of the Pakistani engineer was rushed to Samangan Civil Hospital.

Press Attach at Pakistan Consulate Ghulam Farooq confirmed the killing of the engineer but did not give further information regarding the incident.




Skirmishes in N. Afghanistan leave 10 insurgents dead  2009-08-26 19:27:42

KABUL, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) — Conflicts elsewhere in north Afghanistan have left 10 suspected Taliban insurgents dead and injured seven others, officials said Wednesday.

“Seven Taliban militants were killed as security forces launched an operation in Hazrat-e-Sultan area of Kunduz province Tuesday night,” senior army commander in the northern region General Murad Ali Murad told Xinhua.

Seven more militants and two soldiers sustained injuries during the operation, he further said.

Taliban purported spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in talks with media via telephone from undisclosed location claimed that five soldiers were killed in the gun battle.

Meantime, similar conflict in the neighbouring Baghlan province on the same day Tuesday left three Taliban militants dead, a police officer Ahmad Jan told Xinhua.

Taliban militants have intensified their activities against government interests particularly security forces to destabilize peace in the country.

Editor: Lin Zhi



Policeman killed in Taliban attack
Abdul Mateen Sarfaraz – Aug 25, 2009 – 13:37
KUNDUZ CITY (PAN): A policeman was killed in an overnight Taliban attack on a police check-post on the outskirts of Kunduz City, an official said on Tuesday.

Police chief, Brigadier General Abdul Razzaq Yaqubi told Pajhwok Afghan News the assailants also suffered some casualties in retaliatory fire from police.

As Yaqubi did not put a specific figure on rebel casualties, a Taliban spokesman claimed they killed three policemen, kidnapped a fourth and seized a Kalashnikov rifle during the clash.




10 Taliban killed in pre-poll offensive in Kunduz
Abdul Matin Sarfaraz – Aug 18, 2009 – 19:26

KUNDUZ CITY (PAN): A commander was among 10 Taliban killed in a joint operation of Afghan and US forces in northern Kunduz province, the governor said on Tuesday.

Engineer Mohammad Omar told a press conference the joint offensive was launched in Khan Abad, Chahar Darah districts and in the neighborhood of Kunduz city on Monday night to ensure security for the Thursdays presidential and provincial council elections.

About security of polling stations in his province, Omar said 230,00 Afghan National Army soldiers, police, national directorate of security (NDS) forces assisted by International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) troops would maintain the security of polling stations on Election Day.

He admitted that 24 polling centers had security problems in the province. However, he said the polling station would open with the help of area people and tribal elders. The people would be able to go to polling station in the troubled areas and cast their vote on Election Day, he hoped.

Omar accused Pakistani spy agency, Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) of creating security situation and also criticized German Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) for not taking action against militants operating in the province.

Meanwhile, Taliban insurgents attacked a joint patrol of Afghan police and ISAF forces in Chahardarah district of Kunduz province on Tuesday.

Police chief Brig. Gen. Abdul Razaq Yaqubi told Pajhwok Afghan News an attacker was killed and two others were wounded in the ensuing clash. The joint forces remained unhurt in the attack, he added.

German PRT said Taliban attacked the convoy in Chahar Darah district.

It added no one from the forces was hurt, but many Taliban were killed in retaliatory attack.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said two tanks of foreign troops were destroyed and heavy casualties inflicted on the soldiers in the assault.




Akbari’s son killed in clash with forces in Herat
Abdul Matin Sarfaraz – Aug 16, 2009 – 17:58

HERAT CITY: (PAN): The son of Ghulam Yahya Akbari, leader of an independent insurgent group aligned with the Taliban, along with his two companions were killed in a firefight with Afghan and NATO-led ISAF soldiers in the western province of Herat, bordering Iran, late Saturday night, police said Sunday.

The clash happened in the Guzrah district, a stronghold of insurgents led by Akabari, a spokesman for the police headquarters, Col. Noor Khan Nekzad told Pajhwok Afghan News.

The joint force suffered no casualties in the clash, he added. Akbari’s son along with his two other fighters were killed in the clash.

In a telephonic chat with this scribe, Akbari, who is also known as the ‘Tajik Taliban,’ served as the mayor of the city of Herat before the Taliban took control in 1995, confirmed the killing of his son. He claimed his fighters destroyed a military vehicle of the joint force, killing all aboard the vehicle.

In the northern Kunduz province, one Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier was killed and his four colleagues wounded as a group of Taliban insurgents attacked their patrol vehicle late Saturday night, an official said Sunday.

The attack happened in Charadara district when the insurgents attacked the military Ranger pick-up conducting a patrol in the area, district chief Abdul Waheed Omarkhel told Pajhwok Afghan News. The vehicle was destroyed in the assault.

Having no information about casualties inflicted on the guerrillas, Waheed said the troops launched retaliation attack against the attackers.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesman for the Taliban, has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.




Taliban militants aim gun at Afghan province bordering Tajikistan  2009-08-13 20:22:48

KABUL, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) — As a sign of focusing gun from their traditional base in the south, the Taliban insurgents have assembled in the relatively peaceful Kunduz province and begun attacking government interests there.

In the latest string of attacks, the militants ambushed the motorcade of a former president and sitting parliamentarian Burhanudin Rabbani.

Although, Rabbani escaped unhurt, the purported spokesman of militants Zabihullah Mujahid in talks with media from undisclosed location claimed destroying at least one vehicle of Rabbai’s men.

Meantime, police chief of Ali Abad district Baryali Khan told Xinhua that militants from three directions attacked on police checkpoints and police encountered leaving over 20 rebels dead and injured.

Ealier, Militants on Wednesday night stormed Achin district killing police chief Noor Khan along with two bodyguards.

The militias in efforts to consolidate their hold in Achin district have been keeping on pressure on police and inflicted fatalities.

Clash flared up between police and Taliban insurgents in Achin district of Kunduz province north Afghan province have left over two dozen rebels dead and injured, provincial police chief Mohammad Razaq Yaqubi said Thursday.

“The clash erupted late Wednesday night when the insurgents raided police checkpoint and police encountered killing nine insurgents,” Yaqubi told Xinhua.

He also added that sporadic fighting has been continuing during which 14 other rebels have been wounded.

Two policemen have lost their lives and three others sustained injuries in the firefight, the police official further said.

Not only in Achin, the militants have also several times carried out roadside bombs against Afghan and international troops in the districts of Chardara and Khanabad over the past couple of weeks.
Some of the militants, according to locals, are foreign fighters.

Security situation has been deteriorating in the relatively peaceful Kunduz province which borders Pakistan amid reports of the presence of Tahir Yaldash, the leader of radical Islamic militants of Uzbekistan.

Yaldash, a close aide to al-Qaida chief Osama Bin Laden, according to media reports has shifted from Pakistan’s lawless tribal area in the wake of Islamabad mounting military pressure on Taliban militants.

Meantime, the militants occasionally target government interests in the neighboring Baghlan province creating security problems.

Taliban militants have vowed to speed up attack and derail the Aug. 20 presidential election in the post-Taliban country.

Editor: Li Xianzhi



Eight insurgents, two security men killed in Kunduz
Abdul Matin Sarfaraz & Hamim Kakar – Aug 13, 2009 – 20:50

KUNDUZ CITY (PAN): Eight Taliban insurgents and two Afghan security personnel were killed and more than a dozen more militants and four security men were wounded during last 24 hours of an operation in the northern Kunduz province, officials said on Thursday.

Police chief Brig. Gen. Abdul Razaq Yaqubi told Pajhwok Afghan News the joint operation involving Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers and national police was conducted in Dasht-i-Archi district.

A spokesman for the Taliban claimed their fighters ambushed a convoy of the joint forces, killing 35 security personnel in the district.

Mujahid said the fighters also destroyed three military vehicles.

But the police chief rejected his claims. Yaqubi said the operation would continue until complete removal of the Taliban from the area.

The offensive came after militants killed Dasht-i-Archi district police chief Col. Noor Khan and the brother of Kunduz governor Eng. Muhammad Omar in an attack late Tuesday night, said Yaqubi, who added three policemen were also killed in the militant attack.

A spokesman for the Paktika governor Hamidullah Zhwak, meanwhile, said four militants trying to plant roadside bombs were killed in an air-strike by the US-led coalition forces in Wazikhwa district of the province late Wednesday evening.

The ministry of defence in a statement issued in Kabul said two militants were eliminated in the central Uruzgan province and as many were captured alive in the southern Helmand province, the hotbed of Taliban insurgents.

Taliban insurgents yet to make any comments regarding the operation and arrest of their fighters.




Kunduz district police chief, 3 others killed
Abdul Mateen Sarfaraz – Aug 12, 2009 – 12:58

KUNDUZ CITY (PAN) Taliban militants attacked Dashti Archi District headquarters in the northern province of Kunduz early this morning and killed the district police chief along with three other police, an official said Wednesday.

Shaikh Sadee District Governor told Pajhwok Afghan News that last night Taliban insurgents attacked the district police headquarter from the sides of the building.

District Police Chief Noor Kahn, who is brother of the Kunduz governor Engineer Omar, was killed along with three other police killed.

After a few hours battle between them, the Taliban escaped from the area and caused casualties, said Sahikh Sadee.

Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahed claims that they killed nine other police on the force besides the police chief.

He also said that they captured the district headquarter for a few hours and then fled from the area safely.

An eyewitness, Sayed Raheem, says that two shops also were burned during this fighting.
Noor Khan had survived an IED attack three months ago.




ISAF air strike kills three civilians in Uruzgan
Umeed Khpalwak & Mateen Sarfaraz – Aug 10, 2009 – 18:36
TIRINKOT/KUNDUZ CITY (PAN): Three civilians were killed and fourth injured in an air strike by NATO-led troops in Chora district of southern Uruzgan province, officials said on Monday.

Deputy police chief Col. Mohammad Nabi Khan told Pajhwok Afghan News the people came under attack in Sanger village soon after they climbed a mound to make a call from their mobile.

Due to poor reception, Khan argued, villagers ascended the mound to make calls to relatives and friends. Three civilians were killed and one was wounded in the raid.

A parliamentarian from the area, Khan Mohammad, said his relatives were killed in the strike. He insisted they had no ties to militants.

The attack came two days after International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) soldiers killed three children in an attack in Khas Uruzgan district of the province.

Elsewhere, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-filled car close to an ISAF convoy in the provincial capital city of Kunduz province on Monday.

Police chief Brig. Gen. Abdul Razzaq Yaqubi said the botched attack on the ISAF convoy happened in Kunduz City at 7:00am. Only the attacker was killed in the blast, explained Yaqubi, who added no civilians or ISAF soldiers were hurt.

However, the ISAF press office said a vehicle of the Belgian troops was damaged in the blast.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said two tanks of foreign forces were destroyed in the attack that killed all 10 people aboard. He added a fighter named Mohibullah carried out the bombing.




KAC stops work on road after driver’s slaying
Matiullah Arak & Abdul Mateen Sarfaraz – Aug 3, 2009 – 17:33

MAZAR-I-SHARIF/KUNDUZ CITY (PAN): The Korea Afghan Road Construction Company (KAC) has stopped work on a road project in Almar district of northern Faryab province after its driver was killed by suspected Taliban militants, officials said on Monday.

Police spokesman Col. Muhammad Afzal told Pajhwok Afghan News the militants shot dead a driver of the KAC in Karez area of the district last night and took away his vehicle.

A resident of the area said the driver was on his way back to the district centre form the field when unknown gunmen shot him dead.

The construction company stopped work on a 25-kilometre road project form Maimana city to Almar district after the killing of the driver.

Meanwhile, two anti-tank mines were found and defused in Almar district on Sunday, the interior ministry said.

Elsewhere, armed Taliban kidnapped a woman when she was taking her daughter to a school in Bagh Shirkat area of northern Kunduz province, officials said on Monday.

Her nephew Abdul Zahir said the Taliban kidnapped the 42-year-old Bibi Hanifah three days ago when she accompanying her daughter towards a nearby school.

According to Zahir, the Taliban had claimed responsibility for abducting the woman for sending her daughter to the school.

Provincial council head Mohammadullah Wardak confirmed the incident. He said the Taliban had warned them not send their daughters to schools.

Deputy police chief Col. Abdul Rahman Aqtash said that police were investigating into the matter and that the kidnappers would soon be arrested.

A local commander of the Taliban in the area said they kidnapped the woman for disobeying their orders.

Zabihullah Mujahid said in the current situation in Afghanistan, the girls could not be allowed to go to schools. However, he denied role in kidnapping of the woman.


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