The Taliban insurgents control the Kunduz-Takhar highway at night, as security personnel lack the required facilities and equipment, police said on Thursday.
Shirin Baid, one of the policemen based in Kunduz, told Pajhwok Afghan News they were obliged to patrol the highway with little facilities and had no specific security post, like reported by pajhwok.com.
“As we don’t have any check-post. After patrolling the highway in daytime, we return to the Kunduz police headquarters and discharge duty from 8am to 4pm on the highway. But as soon as we leave, the insurgents take control of the highway.”
Abdul Lateef, another official at the police headquarters who discharges duty with a rocket on his shoulder, said: “As we leave in the afternoon, Taliban come out of their hideouts and by establish a checkpoint.
“They (fighters) search commuters and the highway remains under their control at night,” the official said, adding the situation offered cause for concern for drivers and passengers.
Shafiq, a driver on the Kunduz-Takhar highway, complained the route was insecure and passengers could not travel it comfortably, particularly in night.
“Insecurity is at its peak on the highway. At night the situation gets even worse after security personnel leave. We want the government to pay attention to highway security.”
Safiullah Amiri, a provincial council member, confirmed the security personnel deserted the highway in the afternoon and the road’s control was taken by the Taliban at night.
But Col. Abdul Hamid Hamidi, the provincial police chief, spurned the allegations that police personnel deserted the highway in the afternoon and that Taliban set up checkpoints at night.
He said: “I will seriously pursue this matter forthwith. Being in charge of the police, I am not aware of this so far.”