Not sure about loyalty of everyone in Afghanistan: BRO chief

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New Delhi, May 6 (UNI) Admitting that black sheep were there in the security cordon deployed to protect them in Afghanistan, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) today said the threat perception of being 'attacked' continued.

There was no fool-proof system to ensure total safety of the 'troops' there, said BRO Director General Lt Gen Arun Kumar Nanda while addressing the media. ''In an alien country we are not sure about the loyalty of everyone,'' he added.

While stressing that by and large security measures were in place he said, ''We are not sure about the loyalty of everyone in Afghanistan, hence could not say for sure whether any repetition of our personnel being killed by militants would not take place.'' ''We have to live with the threat perception,'' he said, adding that ''any incident like suicide bombing could happen anytime.

However, they are determined to complete the work, whatever the threat, he stressed.

Informing that the work was likely to be completed within the next two-three months, Mr Nanda said, ''By July-August this year, we would be pulling out of Afghanistan after completing the work.'' The DG also clarified that the BRO did not have any more such assignments either in Afghanistan or Iraq. ''There are no more proposals as of now. We'll be back soon from there.'' The BRO chief also elaborated that for its 300 men working on the 220 km Zaranj-Delaram highway in Afghanistan, nearly 400 personnel of the ITBP were there for their security.

''While 400 ITBP men form the inner cordon, nearly 1,400 local Afghanistan men form the outer cordon for our security there.'' Last month, two of BRO's men were killed in a suicide bomb attack when a vehicle-borne attacker struck in Nimroz province of Afghanistan. Five others were also injured in the incident.

The Taliban, which was demanding that Indians working there quit the country, had later taken responsibility for the attack.

In December 2005, BRO driver M R Kutty was kidnapped and killed.

Earlier this year, two soldiers of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) were killed in a suicide attack.

Part of the 750-million dollar assistance committed by India for reconstruction of infrastructure-starved Afghanistan, the Zaranj-Delaram highway project, when completed, would act as a gateway to Central Asia via Iranian port of Chabar.

UNI AN SG AS1822

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