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Government urged to eliminate Daesh hideouts in Zabul

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By Akhtar M.Nikzad-KABUL: A number of civil society activists and residents of Ghazni and Zabul provinces on Saturday urged the government to target the Islamic State (IS) militants’ hideouts in Zabul province. They said that IS, also known as Daesh, have sanctuaries in Khak-e-Afghan district of Zabul province, from where they launch attacks in Ghazni and other provinces.

Speaking at a press conference, residents of the two provinces said the IS militants have sought sanctuaries in Khak-e-Afghan district and they pose serious threat to residents of Ghazni province as well as the passengers who are travelling on Kabul-Kandahar highway.

They said that militants control the district for the past nine years, where they commit brutal crimes and have took out residents of the district from their houses.

They urged the government to target safe havens of Daesh in Zabul province and warned that if the government ignored the hideout of the militants in the district, they will create challenges for residents of both Zabul and Ghazni provinces.

Mohammdullah Farzan, a civil society activist said that the militant group in Khak-e-Afghan district has also mounted insecurity in Ghazni, Maidan Wardak, and Uruzgan provinces. He said Daesh militants have created horror on Kabul-Kandahar highway.

“In their first move the militants adducted 31 civilians around eight months ago in the same district of Zabul province,” he said.

He called on the government to conduct a clearance operation against Daesh fighter in Khak-e Afghan district to prevent the militant group from launching coordinated attacks on Jaghori, Qarabagh, Malistan and Nahoor districts of Ghazni province.

Noor Jahan, a resident of Zabul province said that the Taliban militants and Daesh fighters are hell-bent on creating ethnic differences among residents of Ghazni and Zabul provinces.

He said that the government has turned its blind eye towards the crimes that the Taliban militants are committing in Khak-e-Afghan district.

Zabul is one of the volatile provinces, where the Taliban militants often block highways and abduct passengers and government employees.

The Taliban destroyed a bridge that connects Zabul and Ghazni provinces last week and blocked the highway for several hours.