, February 12, 2011

Iran, Pakistan Accused Over Violence in Helmand

A senior provincial official Saturday alleged neighbouring Pakistan and Iran over violence in southern Helmand province

Helmand Governor Gulab Mangal said insurgents receive training in Iran and Pakistan and are then sent to southern parts of the country to carry out attacks against the government and foreign forces.

Helmand governor Gulan Mangal
Helmand governor Gulan Mangal (Photo: Frost's Meditation)

Governor Mangal said momentum of the Taliban has been reversed in most districts of the province and they no longer have the potential to fight.

He accused Iran and Pakistan of provoking violence in Helmand province.

Iran and Pakistan have long been under huge criticism of international community and officials in Kabul for fueling a nearly decade-long insurgency in Afghanistan.

But both Afghan neighbours deny the allegation.

"Iranian and Pakistani governments train insurgents and provide financial support to some militant groups. The attacks are planned in Iran," Governor Mangal said.

He said some remote districts, including Gesho, Baghran and Washir are under still the Taliban control.

There is a 40-point downturn in poppy cultivation in the province and still efforts are on the ground to further decrease the graph, he said.

Violence in turbulent southern Helmand province has claimed lives of thousands of people including civilians since the war began in 2001.

British forces in Afghanistan numbering at 10,000 are mostly responsible for security in Helmand, the spiritual home of the Taliban.

While most districts are still under huge influence of the Taliban in restive Helmand province, top foreign commanders have recently signalled about some progress in security in the province.

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