Taliban blow up Afghan power lines over funding dispute

Taliban blow up Afghan power lines over funding dispute

The Afghan Taliban blew up several electricity power lines early on Monday, leaving parts of Kabul in darkness in an act of sabotage that follows a funding dispute with the government.

The insurgents earlier this month said they would target power lines that feed the city’s supply if public welfare projects in Kunduz and Baghlan provinces, both of which have a strong Taliban presence, were not speeded up.

The pylons were blown up in Baghlan, north of the capital, in a step that comes despite President Ashraf Ghani’s proposal to have peace talks.

“Insurgents attacked some towers last night around 2am,” Waheedullah Towhidi, an official with Afghanistan’s state-owned electricity department, told The National.

“They detonated mines around the pylons, fracturing the power supply.”

Power was out for 16 hours on Monday and expected to be out for most of Tuesday.

In a statement issued last week to Afghan media outlets, the Taliban warned that the transmission lines would be hit.

In what appears to be an attempt to appear as champions of the people, the Taliban regards the welfare projects as vital.

The impasse is a further complication to the chances of peace.

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