The arrest of two female Al Qaeda operatives in southern Helmand province has sparked furor among the residents of the province as they demand immediate release of the two women.

The provincial government’s media office in a statement said the two women were arrested during an operation which was conducted in Malgir area of Greshk district.

The statement further added that two operatives of Al Qaeda network were killed during the same operation while four others including two women were arrested.

A group of local tribal elders on Monday met with provincial governor Mohammad Yasin Khan to negotiate the release of the two women, warning that the apprehension of the women have sparked furore among the residents of Malgir in Greshk district.

Governor Yasin Khan told the visiting tribal elders that the women were arrested on charges of having membership of Al Qaeda network and were arrested based on intelligence information, the provincial government added.

In the meantime, Yasin Khan said the demands of the local residents have been shared with the officials in Kabul, promising that the women will be released considering the cultural values of people but the two men will be kept in the custody for further investigations.