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Afghan parliament dismisses interior minister


18:22, July 22, 2013

KABUL, July 22 (Xinhua) -- The Wolesi Jirga, or the Lower House of Afghan parliament on Monday dismissed Interior Minister Mujtaba Patang after he failed to defend himself against accusations of corruption and incompetence of dealing with the increased insecurity in the war-torn country.

A total of 136 members of 249 seats have voted against Patang during the Monday's session while 20 people had used their vote in favour of the minister Patang, the speaker of the house Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi announced.

Patang took the seat less than one year ago.

Some MPs also blamed Patang for failing to secure the Kabul- Kandahar highway where the military and non-military convoys often came under attack by insurgents.

Several hundreds of trucks have been destroyed and tens of drivers and their helpers had been killed in Kabul-Kandahar way, one of the main roads in the country over the past six months.

The Taliban insurgent group has intensified attacks since they launched annual spring offensive late April.

Patang earlier on Monday told the house that up to 2,744 personnel of Afghan National Police (ANP) had been killed over the past four months.

A total of 2,500 Afghan civilians were killed or wounded in acts of terrorism and violence from Jan. 1 to mid-June this year, said the United Nations Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA) recently.

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