Officials say two Afghan Members of Parliament who (MPs) missed a flight forced the plane to turn back to pick them up by asking their associates at the flight’s destination to obstruct the runway to prevent it from landing.

Relatives of MPs Abdul Shaheedani and Ghulam Naseri, including a police official and Shaheedani’s son, placed rocks on the runway and told airport authorities the plane would not be able to land unless the MPs were on board.

The MPs missed their flight from Kabul to Bamiyan, arriving at the airport after the doors on the 30-seater plane had been closed closed, Kam Air spokesman Najibullah Paiman told dpa.

The plane returned to Kabul, refuelled and flew back to Bamiyan with the two MPs, Paiman said, adding that flights to the central province were now suspended due to safety concerns.

“We are waiting for a guarantee from authorities because neither the plane, nor the passengers are safe in this condition,” Paiman said.

“[The] civil aviation authority and the Interior Ministry must guarantee that airport safety will not be breached like this again.”

According to Bamiyan’s police chief Abdul Matin Izidyar, five high-ranking police officials, including his own deputy, the son of Shaheedani and the head of Bamiyan’s airport were arrested.

While Bamiyan itself is among the safest provinces in the war-torn country, roads to the central province are unsecure and often the only way to get there is by air.

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