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Afghan govt appoints new key ministers as violence intensifies

Bismillah Khan Mohammadi appointed as acting minister of Defence and General Abdul Satar Mirzakwal as acting Interior minister

IANS | Kabul |

The Afghan government has appointed two new key security ministers amid growing insurgency and violence in the war-torn country, Administrative Office of the Presidential Palace said in a statement.

“In accordance with separate decrees from the Presidential Office, General Bismillah Khan Mohammadi has been appointed as acting Minister of Defence and General Abdul Satar Mirzakwal as acting Interior Minister,” The statement issued on Saturday read.

Both the newly appointed ministers would soon be introduced to Parliament to obtaining a vote of confidence, the statement added.

The changes in the key security positions comes after the Taliban outfit increased activities since the start of the US-led forces pull out from Afghanistan on 1 May.

The militant outfit has claimed capturing more than 40 districts over the past one month.

According to Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, five districts have been overrun by the militant group just over the past one week.

Security officials, without confirming the fall of districts, said “the government forces have made tactical retreat” and would soon launch counter-attacks to regain the districts.

Hundreds of people in the western Badghis provincial capital Qala-I-Naw and in the northern Jawzjan province have taken arms over the past couple of days and vowed to fight against Taliban if the government fails to ensure security.