Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad announced on Twitter that he has concluded 8th round of talks with Taliban in Doha.
“Building on excellent progress in Kabul last week, I’ve spent the last few days in Doha, focused on the remaining issues in completing a potential deal with the Taliban that would allow for a conditions-based troop withdrawal. We have made excellent progress”, he said.
Mr Khalilzad also informed that he will now travel to Delhi for pre-scheduled meetings to further build international consensus in support of the Afghan Peace Process.
He conceded that his team & Taliban representatives will continue to discuss technical details as well as steps and mechanisms required for a succesful implementation of the four-part agreement they’ve been working toward since his appointment, “Agreement on these details is essential”.
Afghan Health Ministry said that as a result of an explosion in Herat 4 people were killed and 25 injured.
The explosive attached to a motorcycle exploded in Haji Abas are of Herat province, Herat media office said.
Meanwhile, Wahidullah Mayar spokesperson at Ministry of Health said in a tweet:” As a result of an explosion in Haji Abas area of Herat province, 25 wounded patients (including women and children) and 4 martyrs have been evacuated to our regional hospital in this province.”
Previously Herat press office has announced that based on initial reports 3 individuals were killed and 22 others were wounded.
According to the police, the victims of the explosion are civilians.
Four civilians were killed and three others were injured after a mortar hit a residential home in Zabul province, provincial officials said. Due to an increase of security threats in the highway and some areas of the district, Afghan security forces have launched a joint operation since past two days in Shah joy district to destroy the hideouts of the insurgents, Gul Islam Seyal provincial spokesperson told Reporterly on Monday.
He added that around 20 Taliban insurgents were killed in the district during ANDSF operation. Spokesperson of Zabul governor said that a mortar fired by the Taliban insurgents to Shah joy district bazar landed on a residential house on Sunday night which killed 3 children and a woman.
36 Taliban insurgents were killed and eight others were injured in a joint clearance overnight operation carried out by Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) in Bilcheragh District of Faryab.
Several senior commanders of Taliban were among those killed, Ministry of Interior reported in a statement.Unfortunately, two ANDSF members were martyred and three others injured wounded during the operation.
In another news, the General Command of Police Special Units (GCPSU) launched a security overnight operation in Balkh District of Balkh. As a result, four men arrested accused of helping Taliban militants. Three rifles and some amount of military equipment were also seized by GCPSU.
Meanwhile, the Counter- Narcotics Police of Afghanistan (CNPA) seized 80kg of hashish in an operation in Salat Bik region, Gardiz City of Paktiya.
The drugs were recovered from a residence and no one was arrested so far.
Taliban has adducted around 30 passengers including 2 government employees in Samangan province, provincial officials said. Haji Sefatullah Samangani , a member of Samangan provincial council told Reporterly that thr Taliban group kidnapped a number of passengers (25 to 30) from Khurdam wa Sarbagh district on Sunday evening.
Samangani added that the incident occurred when the passengers were on their way to Khuram wa Sarbagh district. The head of appeal court and a police officer of Khuram wa Sarbagh district police command were also among abducted individuals, he added. He said that based on reports 15 to 20 of the hostages were released by Taliban.
Meanwhile, Abdulmonir Rahimi spokesperson at Samangan police headquarters confirmed the incident to Reporterly and said that based on the reports, most of the passengers were released. Rahimi said that efforts are underway for release of the rest of the hostages.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Jawad Zarif has said that his country supports the peace process led by the Afghan government. Zarif expressed support to Afghanistan’s peace process in a meeting with the chairman of Afghanistan’s Senate, Fazal Hadi Muslimyar in Tehran on Saturday.
Fazal Hadi Muslimyar, on his second day of visit in Tehran, met with Iranian Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif and discussed a wide range of issues including strengthening and expansion of the two countries’ bilateral relations, Afghan peace process, holding Afghan presidential election, reducing tensions between Iran and the US and establishing an Afghan consulate in Isfahan city of Iran, Afghan Senate said in a statement.
The statement added that during the meeting, Iranian foreign minister expressed hope about the timely conduction of the Afghanistan presidential election. In the meeting, Mr. Zarif underlined Iran’s support of the peace process that is led by the Afghan government.
Mr. Muslimyar spoke about importance of understanding the nature of IS-K attacks and emphasized that the security figures show that more than seventy percent of IS-K fighters corpses that were left in the battlefields were Pakistani nationals, and the other 17 percent are from the region and beyond.
The chairman of Afghanistan’s Senate said that the countries in the region and the world should take seriously the threat that is posed by IS-K in Afghanistan, as Pakistan has entered a “new stage of intelligence game”.
US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Alice Wells is scheduled to land in Islamabad, Pakistan on Monday for a 5 day visit. Ms Wells is set to hold a meeting with the Pakistani civil and military leadership to discuss bilateral issues and Afghan Peace Process.
The visit is aimed to strengthen the bilateral ties between the two countries. Earlier last week, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan had assured the United States special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad of Pakistan’s full cooperation for the restoration of long-lasting peace in war-torn Afghanistan.
It has been reported that 7 policemen were killed in an insider attack in the southern province of Kandahar on Sunday.
The incident took place in Tor Kotal area in Shah Wali Kot district. A policeman opened fire on his own men and killed seven police force personnel, the Kandahar police said in a statement.
The suspect has escaped from the area scene after opening fire on his comrades, the statement added.
Meanwhile, Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
Security officials in Baghlan have reported that 4 security forces personnel were killed and injured in a mine explosion in the capital of Baghlan province.
Jaweed Besharat, the spokesperson of Baghlan told Reporterly that the explosion took place in Shah-e-Naw street, Pul-e-Khumri city around 7 am on Monday.
He added that one security force personnel was killed and three others were injured when their patrol vehicle hit the mine placed by Taliban insurgents.
Three of Jammu and Kashmir state of India’s most prominent politicians Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah and Sajad Lone were put under house arrest late Sunday night amid a massive security-built up in the state.
Internet services and mobile services have been suspended in several places and all public gatherings were banned in Srinagar district of the state as section 144 was imposed from midnight.
Political parties in Jammu and Kashmir have warned against any attempt by the centre to scrap Article 35A, a legislative provision that allows its assembly to qualify its permanent residents and their rights, and Article 370, which provides special status to the state, claiming that it will further heighten tensions in the Valley.
The strength of the Indian security personnel has been increased around vital installations such as the civil secretariat, police headquarters, airport and various central government establishments in the city, as per Indian news media.
Barricades have been erected on many arterial roads, including the entry and exit points to Srinagar, the summer capital of the state. Riot control vehicles have also been kept on standby in some areas where apprehension of law and order disturbances is more, the officials added.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has remarked that it was the right time for US President Donald Trump to mediate on Kashmir turmoil. In July, in a meeting with Khan, US President Trump had remarked that Indian PM Modi had asked him to mediate in the Kashmir issue, which has been a bone of contention between India and Pakistan for years.