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Taliban blamed for extorting food aid in Afghanistan

Country’s human rights commission says insurgents took away five trucks of food aid sent by Turkmenistan

Shadi Khan Saif   | 10.05.2020
Taliban blamed for extorting food aid in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan 

Afghanistan's human rights commission on Sunday blamed the Taliban for taking away truckloads of food aid sent by Turkmenistan for needy people amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The insurgents extorted five trucks loaded with fresh food items in Faryab province’s restive Sheren Tagab district, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission said in a statement.

“During Ramadan, when the country is in dire need of food aid and people are suffering from a deadly disease [coronavirus] under quarantine, the commission expresses concerns over the holding of this aid, urge the Taliban to stop hindering delivery of humanitarian aid, and to keep their promises in this regard," it read.

Naqibullah Fayeq, the governor of Faryab province, received the aid at the Aqina dry port at the border with Turkmenistan in an official ceremony earlier this month. However, according to local officials, the Taliban stopped the convoy before it could reach the provincial capital Maimana.

The aid consists of perishable items such as eggs and vegetables, among others.

There was no immediate reaction from the Taliban on the matter. The development comes as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Afghanistan. With 361 more infections on Sunday, the overall count has risen to 4,402.

As many as 120 patients have died, while 558 have recovered in the country thus far, according to government figures.

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