Logar Security ‘Improves’ After More Forces Deployed

The security of Logar has improved as more forces have been deployed to insecure parts of the eastern province which has almost 76 kilometers distance with the capital city, Kabul, and is the home for the country’s biggest copper deposit.

Despite the improvement, local officials said, three out of six districts of the province remain under high security threats where development projects have been stopped while government has planned to start work on extraction of Mes Aynak copper deposit and construction of an airport in the province.

Mes Aynak is located in Mohammad Agha district in Logar, almost 50 kilometers to the southeast of Kabul, and contains Afghanistan’s largest copper deposit, as well as the remains of an ancient settlement with over 400 Buddha statues, stupas and a monastery complex.

TOLOnews reporter Tamim Hamid, who traveled to Mohammad Agha district in a convoy of the security forces, said they faced an ambush by the Taliban on their way to the district which was shortly repelled by the troops.

He said the Sorkhab village is the most embattled part of Mohammad Agha district, where security forces have conducted “many” operations in the past four weeks.

Rahm Khoda Mokhlis, Acting Police Chief of Logar, who is a former member of the Special Unit of Afghan National Police, said security forces have been stationed in Mohammad Agha for more than a month.

According to local officials, construction of a ring road which passes through Mohammad Agha and construction of an airport in the district have been delayed due to insecurity.

“We are waiting for the companies to come (to Mohammad Agha) and begin their work. Militants did not allow them to come to the district before this,” Mokhlis said.

Mostly, the public uprising forces have been deployed to different parts of Mohammad Agha district, whose number is not more than 400.

“We come under attack from the houses around here,” said Abdul Rahman, member of the public uprising forces in Logar.

“Taliban are located in the nearby villages,” said Mir Hatam, a public uprising forces member.

Gen. Abdul Razaq, Commander of the fourth Brigade of 203 Thunder Corps, said the districts of Charkh, Kharwar and Baraki Barak are mostly faced with threats compared to other three districts of the province.

“We don’t want war; it is the Taliban who begin attacks, but we are ready to respond to their attacks,” Razaq said.

This comes after Taliban announced their so-called spring offensive last month which was faced by huge criticism of Afghan and foreign officials.

Taliban on Friday rejected the grand council’s call for a ceasefire, saying that they will not lay down their arms and will continue their “Jihad” even during the month of Ramadhan.

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