AT Monitoring Desk
KABUL: Gold mine in Raghistan district of Badakhshan province has become a significant source of income for the Taliban insurgents, a provincial official said on Saturday.
Provincial Council said that it is not possible to clear Taliban insurgents from the province unless their revenue sources are not frozen.
They warned that Taliban insurgents would strengthen more until they have Raghistan’s gold mine and the lapis mine in Karan and Manjan districts.
“We should release these areas from control of Taliban and powerful elements, if we want to eliminate Taliban insurgents in the province,” they said.
“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 told TOLONews.
“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,” TOLONews quoted Mohammad Nabi Bayan, Badakhshan’s security chief, as saying.
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.