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Quqnoos, June 27, 2008

'US troops cut water supply to Bagramis'

People say the fields and vineyards have dried up in the province because of the lack of water, forcing many residents to leave their homes.

Shakeela Ibrimkhil

MORE than 1,500 families have been forced to leave their homes near Bagram airbase because American officials on the base have cut off their water supply, residents say.

Resident of Bagram
A resident of Bagram told Tolo TV that the US forces cut the water supply to their village so that all their lands could be destroyed and they could use it for expanding their base. He also said that many people had left the area as they could not live without water any longer.

The US-led coalition force blocked off water used by farmers in the area to irrigate their land and then seized the farmers’ property, residents claim.

The US-led coalition, which wants to expand Bagram airbase, refused to comment on the claims.

Some of the land near the military base, which has been under US command for more than six years, is owned by the Ministry of Defence.

But a senior official in the ministry said the US army could only expand the base once all the remaining land was bought from residents.

He said: "Once the people are paid the price of their land, then the government can take the land and the base can expand."

Locals say the US cut off their water several days ago.

One of the residents said: "Three small rivers are blocked by the Americans because they say they have leased the lands from the people, but they have even not paid the lease money to the people."

Land of Bagram
All the vineyard and other fields in Bagram have been destroyed due to the water supply being cut by the US foces.

Another resident said: "The river passes through the Bagram airbase, which entered into Yozbash village, but the coalition forces have blocked the river since they came six years ago."

People say the fields and vineyards have dried up in the province because of the lack of water, forcing many residents to leave their homes.

Another resident said: "There were many trees here before, but now they are all dried. People have many problems now and suffer from the lack of water."

Bagram’s governor, Kabir Ahmad Rahil, also said the coalition had cut off the water supply.

He said: "It is true we have been indifferent about the water problem in the province and we must find a solution to this problem."

The US needs about 3,994 acres to expand the base, Tolo TV said in its 6.30pm special report on Tuesday.

The US military plans to build a 40-acre detention centre to replace the old prison, which houses Taliban insurgents and "terror suspects".

Category: US-NATO, Poverty - Views: 21118


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