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Taliban hire 2,000 workers to exploit lapis lazuli reserve in Badakhshan

AT News Report

KABUL: The Taliban have hired 2,000 men to work for them in exploiting the lapis lazuli mine in the northeastern province of Badakhshan, a lawmaker said, a move days after the mine fell to the insurgents.

The lapis lazuli mine lies in the district of Keran wan Monjan, an area that Taliban took control last week after a two-day clash with the security forces, who were forced to flee the area.

Hojjatullah Kheradmand, representative of Badakhshan in the parliament, said Monday that he had authentic information that the militants have hired 2,000 people for the mine extraction.

He added that the mine exploitation is a major income financial resource for the insurgents to keep their war machine moving.

Kheradmand blamed the government and security forces for not doing enough to retake the district from insurgents and prevent illegal exploitation.
Other parliamentarians said that Taliban fighters have some key highways in the provinces of Balkh, Jawzjan and Daikundi.
Parliament Speaker, Mir Rahman Rahmani, asked the parliament’s defense commission to summon security officials for explaining about the worsening security situation.
Lawmakers say they were not convinced with the answers of security officials in previous summon sessions.

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