For the people of Khas Uruzgan, time passes slowly. It is now the fourth month that roads in and out of the district have been closed. Shops, schools and clinics are not working, and even the basic necessities of life are scarce. A sack of flour weighing 20 kilos now costs more than 4,000 Afghani, seven times the normal price.

“We would rather be killed than live like this,” is a common sentiment heard in the area.

Khas Uruzgan is a rural district that borders Zabul, Ghazni and Daikundi provinces. It is home to 500 families, most of whom support themselves by farming.

For several months now Khas Uruzgan has been the site of battles between the Taliban and the government. Caught between the warring factions, civilians are bearing the brunt of it. With no medical facilities available to them, they are dying of ordinary sickness.

“During the fighting common people are killed and injured,” said Hajji Zainullah Khan, a resident of the area. ”Mothers and children die due to illness.”

The government is just making matters worse, he added.

“The government tortures people in this district, accusing them of being Taliban,” said Hajji Zainullah.

Nazar Mohammad, chief of police for Khas Uruzgan district, did not deny the accusation.

“Most of the residents of the area are Taliban or Taliban supporters,” he said.  “They are standing with the Taliban, therefore we treat them like the Taliban in order to get them away from the Taliban.”

The district’s residents are getting desperate, and are demanding that the government take action.

“The people of Khas Uruzgan are fed up with their lives because of the instability,” said Hajji Abdul Qader, a tribal leader. “They ask the government to put a stop to this terrible situation.”


“We would rather be killed than live like this”: Uruzgan citizens caught between government and Taliban

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