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Afghan Governor Quits, Citing Region's Worsening Security

Farah Province Governor Mohammad Arif Shah Jahan
Farah Province Governor Mohammad Arif Shah Jahan

The governor of the western Afghan province of Farah has resigned, citing worsening security in the region that he blamed on political interference and corruption among security forces.

"I have resigned from my post because of the worsening security situation in Farah," Mohammad Aref Shah Jahan told reporters on January 25, citing "interference in my responsibilities from various individuals."

The province, one of the poorest in the country, is situated on the border with Iran in the far west of Afghanistan.

Farah has experienced months of fighting, with some people accusing the security forces of collusion with Taliban militants involved in cross-border smuggling and drug trafficking.

On January 24, hundreds of people took to the streets of Farah, the provincial capital, protesting about the lack of security and calling on provincial leaders to resign. Six people were reportedly injured in the protests.

Some local officials have accused Iran of providing insurgents with funds, weapons, and explosives -- allegations that Iran denies.

"Farah has been suffering from a lot of internal issues for a long time," said Farid Bakhtawar, the head of the provincial council.

"Security forces are there but involved in corruption and selling their outposts, weapons, and fuel to the Taliban," he added.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Tolo News