Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
At least ten people, including a child, were killed in an improvised explosive device attack on fresh army cadets in Nangarhar province on Monday, an official said.
Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor said that a minibus carrying young army recruits from provincial capital Jalalabad to the country’s capital Kabul was targeted with an IED placed in a rickshaw.
He confirmed at least nine soldiers and a child got killed and 28 others were injured in the attack.
There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the assault.
The “Stability and Partnership” electoral team says the first round of Presidential election will have a winner and it will not go to a second round.
Fazil Ahmad Manawi, a member of the Stability and Partnership electoral team in a press conference said that the delay in announcement of election result is a damage to the governance and winner and loser should be announced at the earliest time.
Manawi called on the international community and UNAMA to help the Independent Election Commission (IEC) technically in the election process so we can get a result quicker.
He stated that the election turnout is much lower than what is announced by IEC and the voter turnout figure would decrease significantly if non-biometric votes are invalidated.
Manawi stressed that the government should avoid interfering in IEC’s affairs.
This comes as the IEC said that the processing of information is ongoing fast and the preliminary results will be announced later in October.
The Presidential Candidates Council has stressed that the non-biometric votes will not be accepted.
Speaking at press conference of Presidential Candidates Council, presidential candidate, Faramarz Tamana said, “We will not accept any non-biometric votes—none of them should be counted.”
Tamana called on the Independent Election Commission (IEC) commissioners do their jobs rather than meeting the provincial candidates.
“One million ballots will be invalidated if fraudulent ones are removed”, he said.
Meanwhile, presidential candidate, Ahmad Wali Massoud stated that the council want changes in the current election system of the country.
“We are standing against fraudulent votes and we will not allow unclean votes”, Massoud said.
The other Presidential candidate Enayatullah Hafiz also added that widespread fraud has happened in September election and cited that if pure and non-pure ballots are not separated, fraud not prevented, the entire election process would be questioned and there would be a possibility of election cancellation.
President Ashraf Ghani met with the Prime Minister of Estonia Juri Ratas this morning at the Presidential Palace, ARG said.
The Presidential Palace in a statement on Monday said that Ghani met with the Estonian Prime Minister and discussed the expansion of cooperation in different areas between the two governments.
Ghani termed Estonia’s cooperation, particularly within the framework of NATO significant for restoring stability in Afghanistan and asked to extend their cooperation in education opportunities for Afghan youth, training of cadres and share experiences in the area of IT, the statement noted.
The statement stated that Prime Minister Ratas congratulated the Afghan president and nation on the successful presidential election, calling it the most proper mechanism for ensuring stability in the country.
The statement said that Prime Minister of Estonia praised Afghanistan’s remarkable economic gains and pledged that his country would provide educational opportunities for Afghans and share their IT experience with Afghanistan.
He reiterated that the government of Estonia is willing to continue its military cooperation within the NATO framework with Afghanistan, the statement added.
The Taliban kangoroo court’s judge in Takhar and Taliban shadow district chief for Namak Ab have been killed in the province, Army officials said.
217 Pamir Corps in a statement on Monday said, “Taliban kangoroo court’s judge in Takhar, Haji Sabir and Taliban shadow district chief for Namak Ab, Burhani Gajar were killed in an airstrike carried out Sunday night in Khwaja Ghar district of Takhar province.”
The statement noted that 11 other insurgents were also killed and 9 others injured in the raid.
This comes as Ministry of Defense had said that Khwaja Ghar district of Takhar province has been fully cleared of Taliban insurgents.
At least 18 Taliban insurgents have been killed and 8 others have been wounded in Kunduz province, Ministry of Interior (MoI) said.
MoI in a statement said that 18 Taliban insurgents were killed and 8 others injured after the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) repelled a Taliban attack in Qala-e-Zaal district of Kunduz.
The statement noted that the incident took place while a group of Taliban insurgents launched a coordinated offensive on security checkpoints to overrun Qala-e-Zaal district last night but faced resistance.
Qurishi, a key commander of Taliban insurgents was among those killed, the statement read.
The statement added that 3 ANDSF members were also killed during the incident.
The Presidential candidate Rahmatullah Nabil has said that fraud has been committed in the biometric system’s votes.
Speaking at a press conference of Council of Presidential Candidates on Monday, Nabil declared that the Presidential Candidates Council’s message to the people is not let anyone play with your vote.”
“If the clean (biometric) votes are separated, we believe that the election will go to a second round”, Nabil said, calling on the Independent Election Commission (IEC) to separate the non-clean votes.
“I have heard that some embassies said the voter turnout should be kept at 3 million for legitimacy of government”, Nabil said, adding that they only want a weak government to advance their own agendas.
“I am also telling the ambassadors of other countries not to meddle in the election process—the Afghan people will not tolerate it”, Nabil noted.
According to the former intelligence chief, the Police and district chiefs have taken money to fill the ballot boxes for their favors.
He stated that one of the electoral teams spent $ 175 m in his election campaigns.
Rahmatullah Nabil added that those who were involved in fraud in previous elections, now are trying to plunge the country into crisis.
A 20-member group commander of IS-K has been arrested in Nangarhar province, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) said.
MoI in a statement on Monday said that the IS-K commander was arrested in a Police Special Unit operation conducted at the vicinity of Bati Kot district of Nangarhar province.
The statement identified the detainee as Sherdad and stated that he was the mastermind behind terrorist attacks.
A rifle and hand-grenades were confiscated from the commander by security forces, the statement added.
This comes as Nangarhar press office on Sunday said that 95% of Achin district has been cleared of IS-K terrorists.
Afghan security forces have detected a car bomb in Parwan province and six individuals have been arrested in connection with the vehicle packed with explosives, local officials said.
The provincial governor spokesperson, Wadiha Shahkar said that security forces detected a car-bomb packed with explosive materials on Sunday at around 09:30 PM in Chinzai area, Bagrami district of the province.
A group of 11 key Taliban prisoners is reported to have been released from the joint Afghan-U.S. Bagram detention facility in Afghanistan in exchange for three Indian hostages.
The Taliban officials claimed that the Taliban has released three Indian engineers who were being held, though that has yet to be confirmed by New Delhi or the Afghan government.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid when asked for his comments on the reported swap told VOA “I have not received the details. I am trying to get them and will share with you.”
The Taliban officials also spoke to AP news agency on Sunday on condition of anonymity because they were not cleared by their leadership to speak to the media.
The officials said the freed Taliban leaders include Sheikh Abdur Rahim and Mawlawi Abdur Rashid, who had served as the insurgent group’s governors of Kunar and Nimroz provinces respectively during the Taliban administration before it was deposed by the US-led forces in 2001.
The Taliban officials provided a photo and footage of what they said was the freed terrorists being greeted after their release.
Seven Indian engineers working for a power plant in Afghanistan’s northern Baghlan Province were kidnapped in May 2018.