PAN, January 18, 2015

Insecurity displaces hundreds of Kunduz families

However, locals claimed their valuables had been looted by illegal armed men after they left their homes

By Hidayatullah Hamdard

Residents of Khanabad district of northeastern province of Kunduz claimed hundreds of families in their area displaced due to increased insecurity, claiming their houses were looted by illegal armed individuals.

Heavy clashes between illegal armed individuals and militants over the past four days left four armed men and eight rebels dead and 20 others wounded.

Local officials said the clashes between Taliban and irresponsible commanders took place after a group of militants stormed an ex-Afghan Local Police (ALP) officer’s home.

However, locals claimed their valuables had been looted by illegal armed men after they left their homes.

A resident of the Dagaro village of Khanabad district, Hazratullah, told Pajhwok Afghan News armed men did not allow them to take their belongings when they were leaving homes.

He lives in a relatives’ house in the district centre along with an eight-member family. “We are really tired and don’t know why the government is quiet,” he complained.

Another resident, Ghulam Nabi who has shifted to Kunduz City, said his valuables and property had been plundered by illegal gunmen. Nabi asked the government to address their problems.

“We are tired of fighting against illegal armed men and Taliban militants; we need peace and want to return back to our homes,” he said.

Khanabad residents said about 500 families had been displaced from Ishan Top, Shikha, Tawoos Abad, Chahartoot, Zard Kamar, Isakhel, Shah Mohammad Khel and other villages over the last five days of clashes.

Khanabad district Chief Hayatullah Amiri confirmed displacement of a number of families and said the issue has been shared with the refugees department to help the affected.

He added irresponsible gunmen had created anarchism and security forces should deal with them sternly. Local officials had previously said at least 3,000 illegal armed men were operating in Khanabad district.

But police chief Col. Syed Jahangir Kiramat said security forces had reached the areas and the situation was currently stable.

He added security forces would pave the ground for displaced families’ return to their homes. But Kiramat denied the houses of the affected people had been looted by gunmen.

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