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Wed, Jun

Presidential palace: ANDSF actions should augmented

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president-palacePresident Ashraf Ghani met with civilians who were rescued by security forces from captivity of Islamic State (IS) militants in southern Zabul province, asking security organs to improve coordination.

A statement from the Presidential Palace said First Vice-President Abdul Rashid Dostum and Second Vice-President Sarwar Danish also participated in the meeting.

President Ghani expressed his pleasure over the release of the seven civilians and prayed for those beheaded by the IS militants in Zabul province.

Ghani said the government was committed to enforcing justice and arresting the kidnappers and punishing them under the law.

He ordered relevant organs to provide assistance to the families of the victims and those released.

Local officials in Zabul had said IS fighters abducted seven civilians including three women and a child from a road. After keeping them captive for about a month, the insurgents beheaded them all amid clashes with rival Taliban militants.

IS fighters have so far issued no comments about the incident. But Afghans widely condemned the beheadings during a series of protests in capital Kabul and provinces.

The protestors accused the unity government leaders of negligence in rescuing the civilians and criticised them for the overall security situation in the country.

But President Ghani denied negligence and said he had directly ordered security organs to rescue the civilians and used all available resources in this regard.

In a separate statement, Ghani ordered security organs to increase combat operations and cooperation among them.

He assessed the security situation of southern Helmand province with local security and civil officials through a video conference.

The statement said Helmand security and defense forces shared their reports about progress in their operations with the president.

The president directed them to provide him a list of officials and security personnel having played vital role in improving the security situation of Helmand in order to be praised.

The president said only exact figures and reports were acceptable to government’s civil departments because genuine reports could help in make right decisions.

He also ordered the ministries of defence, interior and the National Directorate of Security (NDS) to increase their operations and improve coordination among security forces for their better performance.