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Famine feared in Faryab after rebels seize key port

AT News

KABUL: The closure of Aqina border port has sparked fear of starvation in the four districts of Faryab province in the north as residents of the districts of Qaramqol, Qorghan, Khan Chahar Bagh and Andkhoy received foodstuff from the port that is bordering the neighboring Turkmenistan.

Taliban took control of Andkhoy district last week where the Aqina port locates. But the port is in government control. The price of foodstuff is increasing in the four districts.

Mahmoud Ebadi, a school teacher in the Qaramqol district, says that the price of foodstuff has doubled.

“Now we are not able to eat good meals because the Aqina port is closed and nothing is imported. We are in a critical condition,” said Ebadi who is the only breadwinner of a family of 12.

Aqina is one of two ports bordering Turkmenistan. The other is Torghundi in the western Herat province. Essentials such as foodstuff, oil and gas are imported from the Central Asian state.

Mohammad Rozi, a provincial council member, said that government forces are stationed 10 kilometers of Aqian port, adding that Talibann have blocked the road to the port.

“The border port is closed for one week and prices have dramatically jumped,” said Rozi.

Officials in Faryab say that the war line is nearing the Aqian port, with provincial governor Enayatullah Kamal saying that Taliban’s target there is Aqian border port. But he assured that Taliban would not reach their goal to capture Aqina.

Taliban have control of 13 out of 14 districts of Faryab province and the frontline of war is at the gates of provincial capital of Maimana city.

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