Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
At least 27 Taliban insurgents were killed in ground clashes and airstrike in Kandahar province, local officials said.
Jamal Nasir Barikzai, a spokesman for Kandahar police said that the insurgents attacked security outposts in Marouf district of the province on around 10pm (local time) on Thursday.
According to Barikzai, seven insurgents were killed in the counterattack.
After clashes intensified US forces carried out an airstrike in the area, resulted in 20 deaths of Taliban fighters, he added.
The Afghan forces seized a Humvee vehicle, a number of weapons, mines, and ammo during the clashes.
Meanwhile, two policemen have been killed and six more injured in the incident.
Afghan and Iranian officials reviewed the ways to complete Harat-Khaf railway on Friday.
Afghan official with Herat Governor’s Office Jilani Farhad told IRNA that a joint committee convened following the emphasis of the Afghan president to accelerate construction and completion of the project considering its significance to improve transit between Iran and Afghanistan.
Vahid Ghatali, the governor of Harat, appreciated the efforts made by the Iranian consulate in Harat to help accelerate the “national project”.
Construction of Harat-Khaf railway, which is underway in four parts and is 193 km, began in 2007.
Two parts of the railway (77km), which is located in Iran, has been completed a long time ago but the two other parts (116km), on the Afghan soil, are yet to be worked out.
The Kazakh authorities will provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, according to the Kazakh government’s decree published in the information system of regulatory legal acts Adilet.
According to the document, 500 sleeping bags, 50 winter tents, 500 beds each, blankets, jackets, trousers, 400 hats and bed linen will be sent to Afghanistan.
The government of Kazakhstan decided to re-reserve material assets from the state material reserve for the provision of official humanitarian aid.
The Kazakh government stressed that its Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development should ensure the transportation and delivery of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.
The United States has allocated more than $36.7 million to help the people of Afghanistan respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and expedited $90 million in continued development assistance through the World Bank to support Afghanistan’s national health and education sectors and local government needs, the US embassy in Kabul said in a statement.
“The entirety of this US funding comes at a critical moment when Afghanistan is dealing with the effects of COVID-19. We must all work quickly to prevent the further spread of COVID-19; attend to the sick; put people back to work; and protect vulnerable women and children, who can become victims of rising domestic violence in these kinds of situations,” said Ross Wilson, US charge d’affaires in Kabul.
The statement said this funding builds on resources previously announced by US Secretary of State Pompeo for COVID-19 response in Afghanistan.
So far, the Ministry of Public Health has reported 35,988 cases of COVID-19 in the country.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) reported 60 new positive cases of COVID-19 out of 557 samples tested in the past 24 hours on Friday.
The ministry also reports 14 deaths and 52 recoveries in this time. The number of total known cases of COVID-19 is 35,988, with 24,573 recoveries.
According to MoPH, the number of total known cases of COVID-19 is 35,988, with 24,573 recoveries.
Previously, Afghan public health officials have warned that the actual numbers are much higher, citing limited testing capacity, among other challenges facing the war-hit health care system.
They anticipate that more than half of the country’s estimated 37 million population could become infected in the coming months.
The Office of National Security Council (ONSC) says the Taliban, as per their commitments, shouldn’t allow its released prisoners to return to the battlefields.
“The group should reduce violence and start the intra-Afghan talks at the soonest possible,” said Jawed Faisal, a spokesman for the ONSC.
“The Taliban fighters signed on the papers and committed that they will not return to the war, regrettably some of these inmates have returned to the war fronts in defiance of the expectations of the Afghan people,” Faisal, asserted.
In the meantime, some former Taliban commanders have urged the Afghan government to ensure the release of the remaining 600 Taliban prisoners from the total of 5,000 demanded by the group under the Doha peace agreement.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) says at least 3,451 healthcare workers are believed to have been infected with COVID-19 in Afghanistan.
The Ministry’s statistics show that the virus has killed 56 healthcare staff in the country.
The Minister of Public Health, Ahmad Javad Osmani warned that people should not repeat the mistake of the past Eid-ul-Fitr celebration in the upcoming Eid-ul-Adha celebration and urged people to wear masks and observe other health advices.
This comes as more than 35,000 cases of coronavirus have been registered by Afghanistan.
Issues of economic reconstruction of Afghanistan, practical aspects of expanding cooperation in transport, energy, trade, agriculture, education and health were discussed during the first meeting of the Subcommittee on Economics of the format of trilateral cooperation “Uzbekistan – United States – Afghanistan”, has been held under the chairmanship of the Uzbek side.
At the event, which was held via videoconference, the need was noted for granting Afghanistan the status of a full member of the Framework Agreement between the United States and Central Asian countries on trade and investment, accelerating the implementation of such key projects for the Afghan economy as the construction of Surkhan – Puli-Khumri power transmission line and Mazar-i-Sharif – Kabul railway routes.
Special attention was paid to the importance of using the potential of the Educational Center in Termez to train Afghan citizens and organize short-term and long-term courses for Afghan specialists of various profiles on its basis.
Following the meeting, an agreement was reached on holding expert meetings in a narrow format on specific areas and projects.
An international virtual conference on stabilizing the situation and implementation of socio-economic projects in Afghanistan was organized by the Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies (ISRS) under the President of Uzbekistan and attended by the heads and leading experts of analytical and research centers of Germany, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
At the conference, issues of peaceful settlement of the conflict in Afghanistan and the role of Central Asian countries in restoration of the Afghan economy were discussed.
Opening the event, Akramjon Nematov, First Deputy Director of the Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, emphasized that recently favorable conditions have been formed for resolving the conflict in and around Afghanistan, which serve as a solid basis for achieving long-term peace in Afghanistan.
The most important condition for stabilizing the situation in Afghanistan, according to the head of the center of the Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies along with a political settlement, is development of trade-economic cooperation with Central Asian states.
The results of the virtual conference again indicated that the consolidation of efforts of the international community on implementing socio-economic and infrastructure projects will contribute to the early establishment of peace and stability in Afghanistan.