War destroyed our houses, schools, facilities: Kandahar IDPs

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KANDAHAR: Residents of Zhari and Panjwayee districts of southern Kandahar province say besides their lives being at high risk, the severe conflicts in their regions also ravage their houses, schools and public facilities.


A school was blown up in the Tarinano area of Zhari district of Kandahar province last Monday. No group has claimed involvement in the incident.


Dad Mohammad, a resident of the Tarinano area, said “Our houses are destroyed, our children are wandering around in different areas due to war and our shelter is unknown. Now, they have also destroyed the only educational center for our children.”


He asked, “what harm did school entail for it to be destroyed? Please, for God’s sake, stop the war.”


Janan, a third-grade student of the school, seemed fed up with war while being extremely saddened over the destruction of the educational center. The 13-year-old boy said “I was a student at this school and I was learning alongside other children there. The destruction of the school has disappointed me. War is an everyday practice in our village; please tell them to stop the war.”


People of Zhari and Panjwayee district say that a school in Zhari district, a guest house of a local police commander and a building of local Development Council in Panjwayee district were destroyed in recent clashes. They say that a guesthouse of a civilian in the Spirwan area of Panjwayee district was also razed to the ground during clashes.


They say that the buildings destroyed in war were public facilities and only benefited ordinary people besides adding to the decoration of the district.


Residents of the two districts called on the warring parties to follow the way of peace and stop the violence.


Haji Ramzan Aka, a dweller of Zhari district, said public facilities should not be damaged during conflicts. “I, as an elder, ask the Taliban and the Afghan government why are you destroying our lives, mosques and other beautiful areas. What are you doing? Why don’t you stop? To whom should we complain?  We are tired?”


This is while Kandahar governor’s press office also issued a statement, condemning the destruction of the school in Zhari district and called for the protection of public facilities.


Security organs in Zhari and Panjwayee districts had earlier reported that they were careful about people’s houses and lives during clashes, blaming militants for using people’s houses as their shields during battle.


Taliban militants have also reportedly asked its fighters to be heedful about public facilities during the battle; however, local people say nothing was safe during clashes between Afghan forces and the Taliban.


Around 10,000 families have been forced by conflicts in the last few months in Zhari, Panjwayee, Arghandab, Maiwand, Arghistan, Daman, Dand and Shah Walikot districts of Kandahar to leave their houses and displace to Kandahar city.