The Killid Group, July 14, 2013

Militia in Afghanistan demand money from poor people

Scores of illegal armed groups terrorise locals

Scores of illegal armed groups terrorise locals.

On June 26, people fled Nahrin district in Baghlan province after armed militia beat up villagers to force them to pay oshr (a tenth of agricultural produce). A local, quoted by Radio Azadi, said: "We request the government to expel these groups from our area".

A month earlier residents of Khan Abad district in Kunduz province had complained to the media that they had to sell their women's jewellery to buy arms for militia commanders.

Members of a militia set up by American special forces to guard villages around Kandahar in Arghandab district
Members of a militia set up by American special forces to guard villages around Kandahar in Arghandab district. (Photo: Channel 4 News)

Hamidullah, a local from the Aqtash area in Khan Abad district told Afghanistan Today that the 70 villages in Aqtash were divided between two rival commanders. "They fight each other every day, and people are killed. The girls' school in Aqtash has been closed because of this situation. The commanders extort money."

Killid reporters have reported other incidents of extortion and harassment by armed groups in the past two months. Farmers in Kunduz province have accused the local police of illegally collecting oshr.

Ebadullah Talwar, chief of security for Kunduz, said his forces have made some arrests in Deh Wairan village including a person called Matinak who was involved in looting, murder and robberies. He said militia commanders were arrested but they had to be released because of corruption in the justice system.

The presence of irresponsible armed groups is not limited only to Baghlan and Kunduz provinces.

Three civilians were killed and two injured in a fight between rival groups in Charikar (the center of Parwan) on April 11. Eyewitnesses reported that the two sides fired at each other in public from inside their vehicles with black tinted glass.

On Jan 29, armed men killed one member of a family and injured five in Momand Dara district of Nangarhar province. The men escaped, and no arrests have been made.

On June 9, an armed group sexually assaulted an 18-year-old girl in Kunduz province. The police arrested two of the men.

Sidiq Sidiqi, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Interior Affairs, said armed groups were infiltrating local police. Security is being beefed up to take action against armed groups.

Executive Director of Afghanistan Human Rights Independent Commission Musa Mahmoudi says there are 616 illegal armed groups.

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