Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The attack on a ceremony of marking the death anniversary of Abdul Ali Mazari in Kabul ended after almost five hours when the two gunmen killed by security forces, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) said.
The attack started at around 11:20am on Friday when the gunmen opened fire on participants of the ceremony in PD6.
MoI spokesman Nasrat Rahimi noted that at least 27 people were killed and 29 others were wounded in the incident.
Taliban rejected involvement in today’s shooting.
Human rights advocates have celebrated after the International Criminal Court determined that an investigation into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan during the so-called War on Terror can proceed.
The ICC’s Appeals Chamber unanimously overturned an April 2019 Pre-Trial Chamber decision that denied a November 2017 request from Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to formally investigate crimes committed by members of the U.S. armed forces, the CIA, the Taliban, affiliated armed groups, and Afghan government forces.
In the meantime, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) has also welcomed the decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) Appeals Chamber to authorize an investigation into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan.
This comes as the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blasted the Appeals Chamber’s decision in a statement, saying, “This is a truly breathtaking action by an unaccountable political institution, masquerading as a legal body.” The secretary noted the move came just days after the administration signed a deal with the Taliban and that United State is not party to the ICC, and promised that “we will take all necessary measures to protect our citizens from this renegade, so-called court.”
The death toll in an attack on a ceremony in Kabul rose to 27, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) confirmed on Friday.
The spokesman of MoI, Nasrat Rahimi said at least 27 people including women and children were killed and 29 others were wounded in the incident.
Gunmen attacked a ceremony marking the death anniversary of Abdul Ali Mazari in Kabul at around 11:20am on Friday where the top Afghan political leaders including Abdullah Abdullah were present but they escaped unharmed.
The United States is seeking U.N. Security Council backing for the ambitious peace deal it signed with the Taliban aimed at ending America´s longest war and bringing U.S. troops home from Afghanistan.
As per AP report, a U.S. draft resolution, obtained by The Associated Press, would welcome the Feb. 28 announcement of the agreement.
It would also encourage “the sustained support” of the United Nations and international partners for efforts toward peace, including the convening of “intra-Afghan negotiations in order to achieve a political settlement and a permanent and comprehensive cease-fire.”
President Ashraf Ghani has condemned today’s attack on memorial ceremony of Abdul Ali Mazari and called it a crime against humanity.
Ghani in a tweet said that he called the Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and Karim Khalili to assure that they are safe.
He emphasised that the security officials and responsible authorities have been instructed to address all victims of the incident.
This comes as at least 18 people were wounded in a ceremony marking the death anniversary of Abdul Ali Mazari on Friday.
The Ministry of Interior (MoI) has confirmed that at least 18 wounded of Abdul Ali Mazari death ceremony have been transferred to the hospital so far.
The spokesman of MoI, Nasrat Rahimi said, “Gunmen opened fire on the ceremony of Abdul Ali Mazari death anniversary from a building at around 11:20am on Friday.”
Rahimi noted that the scene of attack in the west of Kabul has been cordoned off by security forces.
Meanwhile, the spokesman of the Ministry of Public Health said at least 15 wounded have been transferred to the hospitals of the city.
Mohammad Mohaqiq, deputy chief executive, said some people have been wounded in today’s attack.
Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah’s spokesman Mujib Rahman Rahimi added that Abdullah is safe and is back in his residence.
This comes as the Taliban group has rejected involvement in today’s incident.
Kabul Police confirmed that the a ceremony marking the death anniversary of Abdul Ali Mazari has been attacked by gunmen in Kabul.
The spokesman of Kabul Police, Ferdaws Faramarz told Reporterly that the security forces have been deployed to the area.
He noted that there is no information available about the firings.
In the meantime, President’s spokesman Sediq Sediqqi in reaction to the shooting said, “The brutal attack on death anniversary of Abdul Ali Mazari is a crime against humanity and the Afghan government seriously condemned it.”
This comes as several political leaders including the Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, Karim Khalili and Mohammad Mohaqqeq have attended the ceremony.
Eyewitnesses say the political leaders have left the ceremony.
Reports suggest that a ceremony marking the death anniversary of Abdul Ali Mazari comes under firing attack.
The ceremony was attended by the Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, Karim Khalili, Mohammad Mohaqqeq and other Afghan politicians in PD6 of Kabul.
Details to follow
The voluntary repatriation of the Afghan refugees from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Afghanistan is underway, a UN official said.
A spokesman of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Qaiser Afridi has said that a repatriation center is already functional at Azakhel area of district Nowshera to register refugees who want to go back to Afghanistan.
The spokesman said the UNHCR is providing two hundred dollars to each returning Afghan refugee family at the centers after settlement in Afghanistan.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi discussed bilateral relations and recent developments in Afghanistan.
During their phone conversation, both sides reviewed the need to take joint measures against outbreak of coronavirus.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry in a statement announced that Shah Mahmood Qureshi expressed readiness to maintain cooperation with Iran in fighting coronavirus epidemic.
He also appreciated Zarif’s stances with regard to recent violence against Indian Muslims.
Germany is to continue to participate in the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.
The German Cabinet has decided at its regular meeting that the mission is to be extended by one year. This must still be approved by the German Bundestag.
The Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan aims to train, advise and support Afghan national defence and security forces. Troops are deployed mainly in Masar-e Sharif and Kunduz.
The aims of the German government in Afghanistan remain unchanged: security, human rights and sustainable economic and social.
With a view to achieving these goals, the mandate for the mission has been extended by one year by the German government.