Workers building 2-MW Pashdan Dam project kidnapped by Taliban

At least 11 workers at the 2-MW Pashdan Dam hydroelectric project in Afghanistan have been kidnapped by the Taliban, according to a report from TOLO news.

Citing information from Wakil Ahmad Karokhi, reports say the workers were abducted on the job and four have since been released but seven remain in Taliban custody as of Feb. 15. Provincial Governor Waheed Qatali is reported to have confirmed the abductions.

TOLO did note Feb. 15 that the Taliban had not yet commented on the abduction.

The project is on the Hari River in the Karokh district of Herat, 25 km north of Herat city. The embankment dam has the capacity to store 45 million cubic meters of water and can irrigate 13,000 hectares of land.

Construction work at the site appears to be an ongoing dispute. Work began in 2011 but was stopped for three years before being resumed.

In November 2020, MENAFN – Pajhwok Afghan News said, “Taliban insurgents have warned officials and workers of the under construction Pashdan Dam in western Herat province to stop work on the project.” Taliban told dam officials the project had not been inked with the Taliban, so work should be stopped.

At that time, Taliban military in-charge for Korokh district told the district chief: “Security personnel discharging duty on the dam site, drivers and project engineers would not be safe if Taliban’s order is violated.”

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