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‘Badakhshan’s Raghistan gold mine retaken from Taliban’

AT Morning Desk-KABUL: The Afghan security forces has retaken the control of a gold mine in Raghistan district of Badakhshan province, after almost 40 days continued clearance operation against the Taliban insurgents in the area, provincial official said.

According to officials, gold mine in Raghistan district was become a significant source of income for the Taliban insurgents.

“We retook the control of big part of the gold mine. Our military operation will continue until the full clearance of the area,” TOLONews quoted Mohammad Nabi Bayan, security chief at Badakhshan’s police headquarters, as saying.

Confirming the report, an MP from Badakhshan said that security forces recaptured the control of the gold mine from the Taliban insurgents.

“The security forces saved the gold from the Taliban with the cooperation of the people. Now the mine is between the two sides, but it has been saved from the militants,” Gulalai Akbari, a senator from Badakhshan told TOLONews.

Moreover, a civil society activist in the province said that security forces should make every last-ditch efforts to have control of the mine permanently.

“We praise this move by the security forces,” Jahidullah Payam the activist said.

This comes after the provincial council warned that the Taliban insurgents would strengthen more until they have Raghistan’s gold mine and the lapis mine in Karan and Manjan districts.

“Those two mines in Badakhshan helped Taliban a lot to have heavy weapons and fight for months against the government. In my opinion while the mines are controlled by the Taliban clearance operations will not be successful,” Abdullah Naji Nazari, a Badakhshan provincial council member said in that time.

“In fact Raghistan gold mine helps Taliban a lot and has become a source of income for Taliban and on a monthly average Taliban receives from three to five million Afghani,” Mohammad Nabi Bayan, Badakhshan’s security chief said.

According to Badakhshan police, terrorists annually receive up to five million Afghani and with this money they buy heavy and light weapons.

However, it is still not clear that from where they (Taliban) insurgents are buying their weapons?

“They buy light weapons in Afghanistan and they import heavy weapons from Pakistan through Nuristan province which has an open border with Badakhshan,” said Saifuddin Sayes, head of the Badakhshan Civil Society Forum.

It has been for the past two years that the lapis lazuli mine in the province has been mined by illegal armed men and reports indicate that Taliban receives 50 percent of this income monthly.

According to officials, Taliban has control over Raghistan gold mine, and being extracting by foreign Taliban insurgents and smuggled to the neighboring countries.

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