Minister of Defense Tariq Shah Bahrami on Saturday said the bodies of passengers who died in Wednesday’s helicopter crash in Farah province have still not been recovered.
Bahrami made the remarks while addressing the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament) along with Interior Minister Wais Ahmad Barmak and chief of National Directorate of Security Masoom Stanekzai on the security situation in the country.
The helicopter crashed four days ago in Anar Dara district in Farah province and according to officials, at least 27 people were on board at the time of the crash including Farah provincial council members and Zafar Military Corps officials.
Bahrami said the military chopper crashed due to technical problems and that it had been overloaded.
“We did an operation in Jigak areas, but the bodies were not in those areas. Currently our intelligence departments are working to locate the (victims of the) crashed chopper,” said Bahrami.
“Their families are waiting to see how this crash will be handled,” MP Nader Shah Bahar said.
Taliban however said in a statement they have the bodies. The group said they will not hand over the bodies to the families or officials until the Afghan government hands over the body of the gunman who assassinated Kandahar police chief Gen. Abdul Raziq last month.
Bahrami in turn told MPs clashes between security forces and Taliban were ongoing in many provinces.
He said security forces on their own cannot overcome the fight adding that members of the public need to support them.
“These big conspiracies cannot be controlled only by security forces. We (the public) together should support security forces,” said Bahrami.
Meanwhile a number of MPs blasted security forces for their failure to maintain security, especially regarding recent clashes in Uruzgan province.
“Four days ago, Taliban told the people to come and take away the bodies (of security forces fighters). When a few people went there, Taliban opened fire on them and killed three of them,” MP Ali Akhlaqi said.
“Deadly attacks are carried out by the enemies against civilians (in Uruzgan) and it is an obvious example of war crimes,” MP Abdul Qayyum Sajjadi said