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Armed groups make one million dollars per month from illegal mine extraction in Badakhshan

AT News

KABUL: The armed opposition groups make at least one million dollars from illegally demining of gold and lapis lazuli mines in the northeastern Badakhshan province, civil society activists in the province claim.

The activists said Monday that big parts of mines in Badakhshan are in control of the opposition armed groups who according to the activists, gain about 35,000 dollars per day.

Though illegal demining by armed opposition groups is not a fresh issue, but extracting of nearly 49 kilograms of gold every day has made civil society activists concerned.

“The Badakhshan mines are looted partly by armed opposition groups and partly by powerful individuals,” said Saifoddin Sayyas, head of provincial civil society network.

Mamooruddin Koofi, deputy head of Badakhshan residents’ council, said that the mines in the province are extracted “barbarically” by officials in the presidential palace, cabinet members and local powerful persons who are in close relationships with the government.

The ministry of mines and petroleum admits illegal mine extraction by opposition groups, powerful individuals and local resident, but says such events seldom happen in the government-controlled areas.

“The powerful people who oppose the law enforcement, will face serious reaction. You know that we prevented illegal demining in most areas,” said Abdul Qadir Mottaqi, spokesman of the ministry.

Economists believe that prevention of illegal demining could help the country’s self-sufficiency in the future.

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