Monday, June 30, 2008

US military forces farmers off land

From Quqnoos Afghan news:

'US troops cut water supply to Bagramis'
Residents claim US soldiers in Bagram airbase have turfed them off their land
By Shakeela Ibrimkhil

June 25 - More than 1,500 families have been forced to leave their homes near Bagram airbase because American officials on the base have cut off their water supply, residents say.

The US-led coalition force blocked off water used by farmers in the area to irrigate their land and then seized the farmers’ property, residents claim.

The US-led coalition, which wants to expand Bagram airbase, refused to comment on the claims.

Some of the land near the military base, which has been under US command for more than six years, is owned by the Ministry of Defence.

But a senior official in the ministry said the US army could only expand the base once all the remaining land was bought from residents.

He said: "Once the people are paid the price of their land, then the government can take the land and the base can expand."

Locals say the US cut off their water several days ago.

One of the residents said: "Three small rivers are blocked by the Americans because they say they have leased the lands from the people, but they have even not paid the lease money to the people." ...

Bagram’s governor, Kabir Ahmad Rahil, also said the coalition had cut off the water supply... (link)

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