KABUL – A group of insurgents killed on Monday five workers of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India oil pipeline and kidnapped another in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar.
The attack occurred around 10:00 am in Maiwand district, when the TAPI workers, including de-miners and topographers, were at work, Kandahar police spokesperson, Zia-ul-Rahman Durrnai, told EFE.
“These workers and employees of TAPI project today morning suffered a terrorist attack by the armed enemy, in which the militants martyred five of them and kidnapped a sixth one and took him with them,” Durrnai said, adding that an operation was underway to rescue the hostage.
According to Durrnai, the workers had earlier declined police protection as they did not believe they were under any kind of threat.
Construction on the TAPI project had began in 2015 in Turkmenistan, which has the world’s fifth largest natural gas reserves, with the aim of transporting gas from the Galkynysh Gas Field in Turkmenistan through Afghanistan into Pakistan and then to India by 2019.
So far, the first phase of the project has been completed, with the laying of 214 kilometers of pipeline out of the total 1,814 km.
The second phase began in February and will involve the construction of 816 km of the pipeline through five troubled Afghan provinces, including Kandahar, and will take the pipeline upto Quetta in western Pakistan.
According to preliminary forecasts, the project is likely to cost around $7.5 billion and would be able to transport 33 billion of cubic meters of gas per year up to the Indian border.