Afghanistan 'bans eight private security firms'

Kabul, Oct 4 (ANI): Afghanistan has reportedly announced a formal ban on eight private security companies.

The move is part of President Hamid Karzai's efforts to rein in the work of those private security firms that, he says, have undermined the authority of Afghan army and police forces.

Karzai pledged to limit the scope of the security companies last year, and in August signed a decree giving them four months to end their operations.

According to the BBC, Interior Ministry spokesman, Zemarai Bashary, said the UN and NATO's ISAF forces had given the plan their backing.

"The interior ministry is implementing this plan with seriousness and decisiveness," he said, adding that about 400 weapons had been impounded.

Bashary also stated that the private security firm employees are allowed to transfer to the Afghan security forces and added: "The plan is arranged in a such a manner that it does not create a security gap, yet at the same time, we can dismantle the private security companies."

There are 52 such companies, both international and domestic, registered with the government. They employ thousands of staff, who many Afghans believe often act with impunity, the BBC said. (ANI)

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