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Helmand Residents Vow to Force Taliban Out

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Lashkargah – Residents of the Nahr-i-Siraj district in southern Helmand province said on Wednesday they had opted for an armed resistance against the Taliban fighters to force them out, appealing the government for weapon supplies. The dwellers of Alokozi area said the revolt was aimed at cleansing their villages from the guerrillas.

Tribal elder Safar Mohammad told Pajhwok Afghan News they rose in arms after being left with no option how to get rid of what he called the harassers. An eight-member group of Taliban men last night stormed houses of residents and beat them up inside on the charge of cooperation with police in security operations, said  Mohammad, who himself and his two sons sustained injuries in the incident that led locals to take up guns.

The elder claimed the rebels had planted mines in their farms, depriving residents from collecting food crops. Nearly 30 youth representing 200 families living in Alokozai had administered oath to fight the rebels, with elders from Norzai, Popalzai, Barakzai and Tokhi tribes promising to help, he said. Another resident said the beating incident came after police seized some explosives and hashish belonging to a rebel commander. He said the government had to come forward and support the rebellion through supplying guns and bullets. Police official Col. Sattar Khan said senior government and security officials had been informed about the uprising against the Taliban. He hoped the residents would be delivered weapons soon. (PAN)

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