Taliban out to defame local police: Azizi

PUL-I-ALAM (PAN): Taliban members, pretending to be local policemen, have embarked on robberies and extortion in areas where the NATO-backed force has been deployed, the governor of central Logar province alleged on Sunday.
"Their (Taliban) aim is to defame the Afghan Local Police (ALP) officials in people's eyes," said Mohammad Iqbal Azizi during an interview with Pajhwok Afghan News.
Around 700 local police members were trained and assigned to maintain security in Pul-i-Alam, the provincial capital, and Barak-i-Barak town three months ago, said the governor.
He accused the rebels -- wearing local police uniforms -- of looting people's houses and robbing passengers on roads at night. In cooperation with national police, the force had conducted a series of operations to deal with the Taliban threat, Azizi said.
He explained the ALP force had been raised and deployed to certain areas in consultations with tribal elders, who helped introduced young men with good conduct.
The governor claimed so far no incident of law violation by the force had taken place in his province, recalling the insurgents would subject locals to harassment before the local police came into being.
"Residents are happy with the performance of the local policemen who have been able to protect them against miscreants and outlaws," said Azizi, who hinted at the launch of several development projects in the two districts in near future.
"We have designed long and short-term projects for districts where the local police has been active in order to provide residents with jobs and facilities," the governor said, urging residents to cooperate with the force in ensuring better security.
"You should not be deceived by Taliban tactics and their propaganda," Azizi said of highway and house robberies taking place in Logar.