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Badakhshan gold mine a source of income for Taliban: Officials

KABUL, August 27 (DNA): Badakhshan local officials said Saturday that a gold mine in Raghistan district of Badakhshan has become a key source of income for the Taliban.

Badakhshan provincial council warns that it will be impossible to clear the province of Taliban unless their revenue source is cut.

The council said if Raghistan’s gold mine and the lapis mine in Karan and Manjan districts are not released from the control of Taliban and powerful elements the insurgent group will strengthen in the province.

“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,” said Abdullah Naji Nazari, a Badakhshan provincial council member.

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

“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,” said Mohammad Nabi Bayan, Badakhshan’s security chief.

But the question arises as to where are the terrorists 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,” claimed Saifuddin Sayes, head of the Badakhshan Civil Society Forum.

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

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