Police in Kabul slash car tyres due to bomb fears
Police in Kabul, Afghanistan, have raised concerns over militants stealing parked vehicles to be used as car bombs and a controversial tactic of slashing car tyres has been put in to action to discourage potential thieves, Hannah Brewer reports.
Although car theft is not an immediate issue in the area, with only two cars being stolen in the past six months, officers have been told to target cars parked on the street at night and slash the tyres in order to deter potential criminals.
Nesar Ahmad Abdulrahimzai, the police chief for Kabul's 10th district, told National Public Radio (NPR): "The police puncture tyres as precautionary measures.
"The police are poorly equipped and we simply have no other option to prevent car theft."
Local residents are furious as they face constant bills from repairing and replacing punctured tyres.
A mechanic based in Kabul told NPR that the policy is good for his business, saying: "When tyres are punctured more than once, which the police do, the owner has to change the tyre, which costs him a lot."
Only cars that are parked on the street overnight appear to be affected. Cars parked in designated off-street parking zones are exempt from the police's tyre slashing scheme.
Zaher Zaher, Kabul City police chief opposes the controversial scheme, saying: "I apologise to those who have suffered from this problem."
He also said that he would endeavour to put a halt to the policy.