Iran overtly arming militants: Gen. Razzaq

KANDAHAR CITY (PAN): The police chief for southern Kandahar province on Thursday blasted Iran for overtly supplying weapons to the Taliban.
Brig. Gen. Abdul Razzaq told reporters in Kandahar City the neighbouring country aided the insurgents clandestinely in the past. But now it is openly supporting the militants.
Security forces had recently captured 50 made-in-Iran assault rifles during recent operations in Kandahar, Uruzgan and Zabul provinces, he claimed.
“In the past, Iran secretly sent arms to Afghan fighters via Quetta, the capital of Pakistan southwestern province of Balochistan,” the police chief said.
But the arms supplies are now openly routed through Nimroz province as well as Jungle area, according to Gen. Razzaq, who said they were trying to curb Taliban’s attacks in Kandahar.
The insurgent activities were significantly stepped up after the infiltration of Pakistani seminary students into the province from Chaman and Kachlagh towns of Balochistan.
The religious school students, most of them aged between 14 and 17, had erected tents along the Durand Line in areas that were guarded by Pakistani forces, he continued.
Afghan forces had controlled the border in Kandahar, but stretches of the frontier in Zabul and Paktia provinces remained unmanned, Gen. Razzaq said.
During the outgoing week, 51 rebels were killed and 38 others captured alive as a result of security operations in Kandahar, he added.
Over the past two months, 110 civilians were killed and 170 others injured by Taliban-planted landmines in Zabul, Kandahar and Uruzgan province, the official concluded.

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