HERAT -- More than 600 residents of Herat city participated in a blood donation drive for the nation's security forces on October 12, declaring their support for those who put their lives on the line against the Taliban and other threats.
The security forces are Afghanistan's true children who make sacrifices every day to protect their people and land, said Saeeda Haidari, an economics student at Herat University who took part in the blood drive.
"We cannot forget their sacrifices," said Haidari.
"The security forces deserve every praise," she added. "I donated my blood to the injured of the security forces, I appreciate their service and I support them."
"When I learned that a blood donation drive for the security forces was running, I considered it my responsibility to donate blood," said Sebghatullah Foshanji, a resident of Zindajan District in Herat Province.
"I call on all the people of Afghanistan to donate blood to the security forces," he said.
"The security forces make sacrifices everyday to ensure convenience for us," he added. "This 500ml of blood is a very small donation ... We are always beside our forces, and we support them."
"I donated my blood to the security forces because they put their lives in danger and strive to defend Afghanistan and their people," said Najibullah, another resident of Herat Province.
"The security forces have proved their capability," he said. "They provided reliable security for the election and gave the terrorists a good lesson. We thank the security forces for their sacrifices."
Eight blood donation drives have taken place in Herat city this year, with the blood going to security forces, especially to the National Army, said Dr. Farhad Turabi, chief of the blood bank in Herat Province.
"In every campaign we hold, civilians come and voluntarily donate their blood, and we collect thousands of millilitres of blood in every drive," he said, adding that organisers have collected more than 800 litres of blood from Herat residents in the past six months.
"In addition to the blood donation drives, civilians come to the blood bank every day and eagerly donate blood to the security forces," said Turabi.
"We closely co-ordinate with the 207th Zafar Corps [of the National Army] and the police. We immediately supply blood when they need it," he said.
Security officials have welcomed the support, saying it boosts morale and the fight against terrorists.
The security achieved in Herat Province is thanks to the public's collaboration with the security forces and to its hatred of the Taliban, said Herat Police Chief Gen. Aminullah Amarkhil.
"When civilians get together to donate blood to the security forces, it strengthens the morale of the security forces and encourages them to go back to the battlefield with elevated spirits," said Amarkhil.
"Our forces injured on the battleground are in pressing need of blood, and this blood saves the lives of our soldiers," he said.
"The security forces are on the right side of the war," he added. "Our first front is peace as we want the Taliban to renounce violence and stop killing. But our second front is against terrorists, and we are determined to kill them anywhere we find them."
"The public support improves our morale to an extent that we start to love our job," said Lt. Khudaidad, an officer with the 207th Zafar Corps.
"When we see its support and appreciation, we forget about all the hardship and danger. I am very happy as public support is a gift," he said.
"I reassure our people that we won't allow enemies and terrorists to harm them," he added. "Anywhere the enemy raise their heads, we will slaughter them."
"Public support further motivates us and gives us strength to defend our people and land," said Capt. Hawa, an army officer in Herat Province.
"When civilians support us, it helps our commitment to and interest in our job grow," she added.
Rejecting the Taliban
The donations of blood show that residents support the security and defence forces, said Herat Deputy Governor Ghulam Daud Hashemi.
"As their blood flows in the vessels of the security forces, when a soldier is injured or martyred, it means the blood of all the donors is shed," he said.
"The Taliban have fallen prey to the scheming of foreign intelligence [agencies], and they have no idea why they fight and kill their own people," said Hashemi.
"Public support of and blood donations to the soldiers show that the Afghan people hate the Taliban and reject their ideology," he added.
"Afghans are fed up with violence and bloodshed, and they hope that the war in their country ends," he said.