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Kabul electricity restored after Taliban downs pylon in Baghlan

16 Apr 2018 Salaam Times

KABUL -- Power supply to Kabul was restored late Sunday (April 15) a day after the Taliban blew up an electricity pylon in Baghlan Province, Pajhwok Afghan News reported.

A pre-dawn attack Saturday (April 14) on a transmission tower in Baghlan Province left Kabul with 95MW, less than a quarter of its normal power supply, said Wahid Tawhidi, a spokesman for power utility Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS).

The Taliban destroyed a pylon in Dushi District, according to Sultan Mohammad Azizi, the provincial DABS director.

The provincial governor's spokesman, Mahmood Haqmal, said Taliban fighters had used a mine to "bring down" the power line.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed to AFP that the militant group had "cut a cable in Baghlan Province".

It was the fourth outage in recent weeks caused by militant attacks on the power line transmitting electricity from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. It has also affected neighbouring Nangarhar and Parwan provinces, Tawhidi said.

The Taliban warned last month that they would continue to cut power to Kabul unless their demands for electricity in areas under their control in Baghlan and Kunduz provinces were met.

"The Taliban militants are trying to harm Afghans in any way they can," Kabul resident Rameen Haidari, 35, told Salaam Times.

"One day they carry out a suicide attack and kill people, the next day they destroy schools and bridges, and now with destroying power towers, they have brought darkness into the homes of Kabul residents," said Haidari.

"This group is the enemy of humanity, progress and peace," he said.

"We're [confused] about why the Taliban are blowing up power towers," said Mohammad Raziqyaar, 21, a student at Mashal University in Kabul. "If they are Afghans and have the courage, they have to answer this question."

"They have always destroyed public utilities," he told Salaam Times. "The Taliban's actions are clearly show they are hostile to their people."

"This is not the first time the Taliban have destroyed power lines," he said. "This is really un-Islamic, inhumane and contrary to all human values."

The bulk of Afghanistan's electricity comes from neighbouring countries, but the amount is insufficient to meet demand.

[Sulaiman from Kabul contributed to this report.]

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