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Afghanistan: 321 officials sacked for corruption

KABUL, Afghanistan

Accused of corruption, at least 321 police and customs officials have been sacked in Afghanistan, officials confirmed on Sunday.

According to the Interior Ministry, cases of the officials charged with corruption and extortion from highway transporters have been referred to the Attorney General’s Office for further investigation.

Deputy Interior Minister Maj. Gen. Abdul Sabur Qaneh said in a statement that corrupt officers would be replaced with educated, qualified ones.

The sackings followed a three-week strike by goods transporters over the corruption allegations.

Tala Mohammad, who heads the transporters’ union, told that they will agitate again if the promised reforms do not come.

“We understand that the common people will eventually suffer from a lack of supplies and markets closing, which is why we ended the strike now over the assurances we got from the government,” he said.

In the absence of a robust rail network, landlocked Afghanistan relies heavily on road transport on insecure, bumpy roads for international trade and the domestic economy.

The transporters’ strike, coupled with a massive fire engulfing most of the Islam Qala dry port in Herat province earlier this month at the border with Iran, led to rise in prices of many basic commodities across the war-ravaged country.

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