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Afghan Defense Ministry Fires 1,400 Staff Over Corruption


Afghan army special forces

Afghanistan's Defense Ministry has dismissed nearly 1,400 of its officials over alleged corruption over the past year, a high-ranking ministry official says.

Deputy Defense Minister Hilaluddin Hilal told reporters in Kabul on March 28 that the ministry has taken significant steps to tackle widespread corruption, dismissing 1,394 officials in graft-related cases.More than 300 officials accused of corruption have been brought to justice, Hilal said.

The ministry is currently reviewing more than 1,800 allegations of corruption in the country’s defense structures, Hilal said, adding that nearly 170 cases have been referred to law-enforcement agencies.

The deputy minister said the cases include suspected abuse of office and illegal weapons sales.

Hilal's statement comes just a day after the ministry announced that a senior Afghan general was arrested on charges of corruption and misuse of power.

Major General Mohammad Moeen Faqir had been deployed to southern Helmand Province to crack down on corruption.

Afghanistan was ranked 169th of 176 countries in watchdog Transparency International's 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index, meaning that only seven countries were perceived as more corrupt.

President Ashraf Ghani has vowed to stamp out corruption in the government and the security services.

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