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Blind Afghan Named Police Chief in Native Uruzgan Province

Shah Mohammad Shah is seen in this photo provided by the Uruzgan district government.

Shah Mohammad Shah is seen in this photo provided by the Uruzgan district government.

A veteran Afghan police commander who was blinded in an attack by one of his subordinates has been named police chief in his home district in southwest Uruzgan province.

Shah Mohammad Shah joined the Afghan National Police 13 years ago and spent time fighting against the Taliban on the front line in Trenkot, a district in Uruzgan where Taliban fighters routinely target police checkpoints.

However, he was betrayed by one of his own men a year and a half ago in the Meher Abaad area, when the man claimed to want to show him the location of an enemy minefield. Dost Mohammad Nayaab, the provincial spokesperson of Uruzgan, said that when they reached the minefield, the man told Shah that “it’s time for you to pay for what you have done.” He then detonated a blast that killed four of Shah's men and wounded both of Shah's eyes.

He traveled to India for medical treatment two times, but doctors were unable to restore his vision. So Shah returned to Afghanistan and considered leaving the police force. However, the province’s military council had a different plan.

Nayaab said the council decided to assign Shah as the police chief in his birthplace: Dehrawood, a district where Taliban forces have made gains in recent months and are in danger of seizing control.

The Uruzgan provincial spokesperson said Shah's example was inspiring to the police force, and he is still an expert in neutralizing IEDs.

Despite being blind, Shah Mohammad said he would continue to fight for his country.