Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
A spokesperson from IEC has confirmed that the commission has begun to train its employees in the usage of biometric devices.
It will be a 3 day training programme for 250 employee. These employees will then be sent to provincial offices to teach the other employees.
On the election day, first fingerprints of voters and their pictures will be recorded in the biometric devices and then the photos in the voters’ IDs and the stickers on the IDs will be recorded in the devices prior to voting.
The biometric devices in their first batch arrived at Kabul earlier this week and have been topic of controversy regarding the entire election process.
The Presidential Palace (ARG) reported in a press release that President Ghani has commended two medalist athletes for their achievements in the Asian Cup.
According to presidential press release, Mr Ashraf Ghani honored two Asian Cup Medalists, Mohammad Khalid Hotak and Mohammad Mansoor Sarwari with cash prizes on Saturday.
The president congratulated the athletes as pride of Afghanistan and promised supports for athletes.
Local sources report a crash of an Afghan Army Helicopter in the Parwan province.
The incident happened on Saturday in Mandi Qul area of the Koh-e-Safi, Parwan Province.
Local sources says that eight soldiers were killed or injured as a result.
The spokesman for the governor of Parwan has said that the Helicopter crashed while landing due to a technical problem.
The presidential palace (ARG) has informed that the Afghanistan Access to Information Law has won the first place in RTI global rating with 139 points out of a total of 150 points.
According to Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Canada, Afghanistan ranked among the top 10 countries in the world for access to information with 139 points out of a total score of 150.
Afghanistan was 68th in 2016.
A statement by ARG says that the Afghan government will be fully cooperating in the provision of information and enforcement of the Access to Information Law just like it did in the past, and call on the partner organizations for cooperation in implementing it.
ARG emphasized that the right to information should be institutionalized as a value in society and turned into universal culture.
Meanwhile, some media and journalists have criticized the government for not allowing much access to information.
Faryab security officials have reported the killing of three Taliban Red Army commanders in the province.
15 Taliban fighters, including the three commanders of the group, have been killed and seven others have been wounded as a result of air strikes in the Erklilk area of Qaisar distict in the province on Saturday, the press office of the provincial police command headquarters said in a release.
The press release said that the dead and wounded are from the Taliban’s Red Unit.
Facebook has reported that almost 50 million of its accounts were compromised with by a security breach.
The company has informed that hackers were able to exploit a vulnerability in one of its features to access people’s accounts.
The breach was found out on Tuesday and Facebook had since informed the police.
Affected Users have been prompted to re-login on Friday. The flaw has also been fixed according to Vice-President of Facebook, Guy Rosen.
The company has confirmed that the attack allowed the hackers to log into other accounts on Facebook and some of them include major companies like AirBnB and Tinder.
Russia has said that they will not allow Syrian militants to be sent to Afghanistan or another country, within the framework of an agreement with Turkey to refrain from military operations in Idlib.
According to the agreement, Turkey has agreed to separate the armed opposition forces from radical militants. The United Nations considers these militants as terrorist groups
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said yesterday at a news conference in New York that it would be possible to send these militants to other places. He said that his government would not allow these people to be deployed to Afghanistan or elsewhere.
Russia’s foreign minister has said that extremist militants must either “be eradicated or go through a judicial process.”
Russian and Turkish Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have agreed to establish a demilitarized zone in the Syrian province of Idlib.
Russia has said that all jihadist and radical forces must leave the demilitarized zone.
The Independent Election Commission has put up a cash penalty on 52 candidates for the parliamentary elections. As per IEC the penalties have been drawn on the grounds that the candidates began their campaigns prematurely, starting it before the scheduled timing.
Rafai Rafiq Sediqui, the head of IEC Media Committee addressed a press conference on Friday and informed that the candidates were called out for campaigning on social media and via banners before the IEC scheduled for the campaigns to begin.
There also a number of other electoral campaign laws so as to not cause a nuisance to the public or prevent any unfair practices by the candidates. Imam Mohammad Warimach, former chief of IEC Secretariat has pointed for instance, that the posters should be placed in proper places and not at the cost of public convenience.
A delegation from the Afghan government has met with the Taliban in Saudi Arabia. A senior Taliban official said that the delegation was discussing the release of the Taliban’s detainees and the withdrawal of Taliban leaders from the UN blacklist, with the Afghan government delegation.
According to Reuters, at the meeting, the Taliban were called on to co-operate with the government in terms of the security of the upcoming election, but the Afghan government is not aware of how the meeting is organized.
A senior Taliban official told Reuters: “The government has agreed to release a number of Taliban prisoners. A small number of our inmates have been released, and the release of the remaining prisoners has been set in three instalments and will be released in the coming weeks.”
Ensuring the holding of parliamentary elections’ security is one of the key priorities of the Afghan government and its international partners.
The Taliban have also confirmed in a conversation with Reuters that they are scheduled to hold another meeting with US officials, but they did not inform anything about the time and venue of the meeting.
Previously, American and Taliban delegations have met in Doha several times. Washington has consistently emphasized that the meetings with Taliban’s have so far been aimed at facilitating peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government.
Pakistani Foreign Minister has also said that Pakistan’s stability is directly linked to Afghanistan’s peace and stability. Shah Mahmud Quraishi, in a meeting with United States’ Special Representative for Reconciliation in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, said that Islamabad is prepared to cooperate with the Afghan government for peace in Afghanistan.
According to Kandahar Governor’s spokesperson, a policeman from Kandahar killed two of his fellow policemen and wounded three others out of “deliberate” firing on Friday.
The incident has been confirmed to have taken place in Raghistan district. The attacker has since fled the area and it has been confirmed by the spokesperson that an investigation has begun on the matter.
Two explosions were heard in Jalalabad city early this morning. A third explosion went off in Surkh Rod district shortly after.
According to local sources, the explosions went off near schools of Nangarhar districts of Jalalabad’s Deh Araban area as well as Surkh Rod district.
The explosion has wounded at least one person so far and there have been no claims of responsibility.