Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The National Directorate of Security in a statement said on Monday that Sardar Mohammad, Taliban shadow district governor for Kalakan district of Kabul was arrested along with 3 of his aides in PD8 of Kabul city.
The statement added that Sardar Mohammad alias as Mullah Sardar, and three of his subordinates were involved in terrorist activities including firing rocket on Bagram airfield, banditry, disturbing people and also extortion.
Sardar Mohammad had previously acted as Taliban shadow governor for Kabul’s Mirbacha Kot district, before he was recalled to Pakistan’s Peshawar where he was instructed to increase attacks and was appointed as the group’s governor for Kalakan district, the statement read.
At least one person was killed and five others were wounded in a magnetic Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast that targeted university students in Ghazni province, officials said on Monday.
“The driver of the bus was killed in the incident, and five other students of Ghazni University were injured”, Ahmad Khan Serat, Ghazni police spokesperson told Reporterly.
Serat noted that the incident happened at around 12:20 PM on Monday when a bus carrying university students was targeted by a bomb.
He added that the incident occurred in Qala Jawz area in PD3 of Ghazni city.
No group has claimed responsibility for the blast yet.
Presidential spokesperson Sediq Seddiqi said that the Afghan government welcomes UNAMA’s support for the upcoming presidential election.
“The government calls on all stakeholders such as candidates, CSOs, media & Ulema to join hand with us and electoral bodies to ensure a credible, transparent and inclusive election and support the political process”, Seddiqi said.
He added that the Afghan government as an embodiment of genuine democracy is committed to safeguarding the rights of citizens to vote for all Afghan people, including women as an effort to preserve hard-earned democratic values that have been institutionalised during the last 18 years.
Meanwhile, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in a statement on Monday stressed on enabling all eligible Afghan citizens to exercise their constitutional right to vote for officials of their choice.
UNAMA also called upon the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC), civil society, candidates and all other stakeholders working for transparent and credible elections to redouble their efforts before polls open.
Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) said that Farid Basim has resigned from his post citing personal reasons.
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has accepted his resignation, IDLG confirmed in a statement on Monday.
The statement added that Abbdul Qadim Niazi the deputy governor of Baghlan has been appointed as the acting governor until the appointment of new governor.
The resignation of Baghlan governor comes as the province witnessed intense fighting between Taliban group and Afghan security forces in the past two weeks.
At least five civilians were killed including women and children in a roadside bomb blast in western Farah province on Sunday, security officials confirmed.
The blast took place in Karez Shaikhan village in the centre of Farah, when a civilian vehicle hit a roadside bomb placed by Taliban group, Ministry of Interior said in a statement.
Taliban group has not commented on the incident yet.
In the recent past, roadside bomb blasts have inflicted a high number of civilian casualties across Afghanistan.
A key border-crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan will now remain open for 24 hours, a move which is likely to give a boost to a struggling trade between the two neighbors, an official said.
Custom Official’s confirmed that, permanent opening of Torkham border suggests an increase in bilateral trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“During the last eight days when the Torkham border was opened round the clock, around 100 percent growth in imports and a significant increase in exports were registered,” said Collector Customs Appraisement, Ehsan Ali Shah.
The round-the-clock opening of Torkham border will improve trade between the two countries besides facilitation of businessmen in the region, he said.
Sharing details about increase in trade, Ehsan Ali Shah said, “During the last one week the bilateral trade has registered a hike of Rs 35 million, showing an increase from Rs120 million to Rs155 million”.
He added that the passage of goods carrying trucks between Pakistan and Afghanistan via Torkham has been increased from 700 to 1600.
Previously, the Torkham crossing remained operational for 12 hours only, which would cause night-long wait for the truckers on either sides of the border.
At least five IS-K terrorists have been killed in Nangarhar province, local officials confirmed.
They were killed as a result of air operations carried out in Achin district of the province during last 24 hours. Apart from killing five IS-K terrorists the airstrike also wounded one terrorist, Nangarhar provincial office said in a statement.
The statement added that, Bandar Khola, Baro Khel, Dawlat Khel, Jalam Khel, Zeyarat Kuli, Dewana Baba and Shulkara villages of Achin district were cleared of IS-K terrorists in a clearance operation.
Moreover, seven hideouts of IS-K group were also destroyed in the raid.
Afghan forces backed by U.S. forces killed two senior Taliban leaders and at least 38 insurgents during operations launched on Saturday night in northern and western regions of the country, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said.
Fighting has ramped up since President Trump declared peace talks dead, though the Taliban says “lines of communication are still open.”
CBS News met Afghan Defense Minister Asadullah Khalid in Kabul, who said the U.S. and Afghanistan are taking the fight to the Taliban.
Khalid is the point man for U.S. General Scott Miller, the commander of the American-led mission and its 14,000 U.S. troops. Together they have pursued a dual strategy of killing as many Taliban fighters as possible, while launching Special Forces raids aimed at dismantling ISIS and al Qaeda terror networks.
The defense minister told CBS News that Afghan troops are now at the forefront of around 90% of the offensives and operations taking place around the country.
“In most of the operation now, Afghan force are doing this operation independently,” Khalid said.
While they are paying a heavy price, he said this year for the first time the Taliban is losing more fighters than the Afghan military.