GARDEZ (Pajhwok): Local officials in southeastern Paktia province claim the Taliban have blown up a major hospital under construction in Syed Karam district.
They said the hospital was being built near the district centre at a cost of 77.7 million afghanis. About 70 percent of work on the medical facility had been completed.
Abdul Rahman Mangal, the governor’s spokesman, slammed the Taliban’s action a violation of against all values and principles.
Mangal recalled strenuous efforts had been made to get the hospital approved and built. The project was designed to provide health services to thousands of residents of the area.
Zahir Shah Zaheer, the district’s administrative chief, confirmed the incident. He said the militant attack had unmasked the group’s real face.
Residents of the district, meanwhile, expressed their anger over the attack and called it a clear act of hostility towards the people.
Haji Abdullah Jailani, a tribal elder, told Pajhwok that the Taliban’s words and deeds did not match and the insurgents carried out activities in the areas under their control and influence that no one could have imagined.
Mohammadullah, head of the company building the hospital, alleged the insurgent movement had previously opposed the construction of the hospital and demanded more than seven million afghanis.
He said due to non-payment of the money, some workers had been beaten and their money and mobile phones snatched.
However, the Taliban have not yet commented on the incident.
Earlier, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid had told Pajhwok project executors should possess licences from their procurement commission.