Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
A huge explosion rocked Kabul PD9 at around at around 9:45PM as confirmed by MoI spokesman.
The explosion was a car bomb one which happened in Kabul’s PD9 near the “Green Village” area, the Interior Ministry’s spokesman Nusrat Rahimi added.
Witnesses heard a loud bombing sound. No casualties reported yet .
More Details to follow.
After wrapping up the ninth round of Doha talks, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, said that the United States and the Taliban have reached an agreement in principle, but it is not final until US President Trump agrees on it. The two sides have held nine rounds of talks in the past ten months.
In an interview given to TOLO news, Mr. Khalilzad confirmed that, based on the draft agreement, the US will withdraw 5,000 troops from five bases in Afghanistan within 135 days if conditions in the agreement are addressed by the Taliban.
“Yes, we have reached an agreement in principle, Of course, it is not final until the US president (Donald Trump) agrees on it. So, at the moment, we are at that stage.” Mr. Khalilzad told TOLO news.
Giving details on the agreement, Mr Khalizad revealed that, as part of the agreement, at the first stage, the provinces of Kabul and Parwan where the Bagram Airfield is located will see a reduction in violence.
Mr. Khalilzad said the return of an Islamic emirate, the term used for the Taliban’s governance system, by force is not acceptable. A possible return of an Islamic emirate as part of a peace deal between the US and the Taliban has been a much-debated topic which increases concerns about the loss of achievements the country has made in the last eighteen years.
Finally, Mr. Khalilzad said that president Trump will decide at what level the deal will be signed between the officials from the two sides. “If one side’s ideas are tried to be endorsed by force on the others, the result will be a war,” Mr. Khalilzad said.
Ministry of Interior said that the suicide attack took place in front of a unit of security forces in Kunduz. It killed and wounded 21 members of security forces and civilians.
Nasrat Rahimi, spokesperson for ministry of Interior confirmed the incident and added that 6 security forces were killed and 15 others including 11 civilians and 4 police personnel were injured.
Meanwhile, Anamuddin Rahmani in charge of media office of Kunduz police told reporters that the suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest in Sedarak area, in front of highway company, as a result 3 members of security forces were killed and 3 other personnel were injured.
According to Rahmani, 10 civilians were also injured in the incident.
Wali Mohammad head of Kunduz provincial council confirmed that the suicide bomber detonated the explosive vest amongst security forces and civilians which killed 4 police personnel and injured 7 other police.
This is the second suicide attack in Kunduz that happened in the past two days.
Security officials in Kunduz said that they repelled Taliban attacks from Kunduz province.
While briefing media on the situation in Baghlan, Ministry of Interior spokesperson Nasrat Rahimi said the enemies wanted to attack the city and show their strength to the world.
“They did not know that the brave ANDSF are stronger than before and will never allow the enemy to carry major attacks,” he expressed.
Taliban attacked Pule Khumri city from four areas, Rahimi said adding that in three areas they were defeated.
The Taliban entered local houses and from there, opened fire at Afghan national and defense security forces, he said.
Currently, the fighting is ongoing in Karkar area, far from Pul-e-Khumri city and ANDSF will eliminate the enemy soon, he said.
Rahimi added that, Kunduz’s security situation is quite normal. People can carry on their daily lives safely. ANDSF are conducting clearance operations in remote areas of the city where the Taliban have presence. Currently, clearance operations are underway in Imam Saheb district.
Six members of Afghan security forces were killed and 11 wounded in the operations, Rahimi said, adding that 7 civilians were also killed by Taliban insurgents.
He emphasized that the Taliban do not abide by any rules. They target civilians by purpose and ANDSF does its best to prevent civilian casualties.
As a result of ANDSF operations in Baghlan province, 51 insurgents were killed, 31 injured and 11 were arrested.
US envoy Khalilzad has shared with the Afghan president and government details of the agreement “that is to be finalized” Afghan presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.
Addressing a press conference presidential spokesperson Sediq Sediqqi said that ambassador Khalilzad briefed them on the details of the ninth round of U.S. Taliban talks with President Ashraf Ghani.
He added that Khalilzad met Afghan president last night and again at noon today.
He further added that US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad briefed Afghan leaders on the details of the draft framework agreement between the US and the Taliban.
Sediqqi emphasized that, end of violence, a permanent ceasefire and direct talks with the government are part of the U.S.-Taliban draft agreement.
The Afghan government will thoroughly study the draft agreement between the US and the Taliban and will share its response regarding this document with Mr. Khalilzad, he said.
Sediqqi said that the consultative Loya Jirga has already defined the policy of the Afghan government on the peace process.
However, he added that they hope the US efforts for peace will lead to start of intra-Afghan negotiations and a permanent ceasefire.
Presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi clarified that the delay in the presidential election was not discussed in US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad’s meeting with Afghan leaders.
The people of Afghanistan should trust on Afghan president, he will defend from the will of the people, he said.
The pathway to peace is clear and we won’t allow an imperfect agreement to harm the people of Afghanistan.
An incident of suicide bombing took place this afternoon in Se Darak area of Kunduz City. Eye witnesses said that the incident occurred in front of first highway company command among security forces.
According to a security source, at least six soldiers have been killed so far. The Ministry of Interior confirmed the blast but refused to give further details.
This comes as the Kunduz city also witnessed a bloody suicide attack two days ago.
In a major development in the progression of peace process, Presidential advisor Waheed Omer in a tweet said that US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in a meeting with President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah showed them a copy of the draft framework agreement between the US and the Taliban.
“President Ghani and CE Abdullah met with Ambassador Khalilzad today. He handed a copy of the draft framework agreement between US and Taliban.”
He further added that they will look into the document and discussions with Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and team would continue.
The US special representatives for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad met President Ashraf Ghani to brief him on the latest round of negotiations with the Taliban, an official said.
The spokesman of President’s office, Sediq Sediqqi confirmed that the meeting took place on Sunday night at the Presidential Palace (ARG).
The US envoy Khalilzad arrived to Kabul from Qatar yesterday afternoon.
In Qatar, Khalilzad had held the ninth round of talks with the Taliban, which ended without a final agreement. ARG soon will release details, Sediqqi said.
“We are at the threshold of an agreement that will reduce violence and open the door for Afghans to sit together to negotiate an honourable and sustainable peace.” said Khalilzad, even as Taliban insurgents targeted the northern city of Kunduz, killing civilians and security forces in a triple-pronged attack to overrun it.
The nine rounds of talks between the US and Taliban officials have been punctuated on each occasion by violence outside the negotiating room.
Key to the discussions is the withdrawal of US forces. The Taliban, in exchange, are expected to promise that international terrorist groups will not be allowed to thrive on Afghan soil.
Security officials said that a suicide bomber was killed before reaching the target in Paktia province.
Nasrat Rahimi spokesperson for ministry of interior said that a suicide bomber was killed by police in Gardez city, the center of Paktia province.
Rahimi added that the suicide bomber was killed in the incident and the blast had no casualties.
At least 6 local army soldiers were killed in a Taliban ambush in Ghazni province, local authorities said.
Ghani press office in a statement said on Monday that the Taliban ambushed the local army soldiers in Khonyan area of Qarabagh district on Sunday night.
The statement added that as a result six soldiers were killed and 3 others injured.
The forces were ambushed when they were on a patrol, as per Ghazni press office.
According to the statement the Taliban also suffered casualties in the clash but there is no exact report about it.
At least five civilians were killed and six more were wounded in a mortar attack in Alisheng district of Laghman province, local officials said.
Local residents said that the mortar shell was shot by Taliban group at around 7PM on Sunday evening.
Assadullah Dawlatzai spokesperson for Laghman governor confirmed the incident and added that a woman and children were also amongst people who were killed in the mortar attack.
He added that the injured were shifted to local hospital. Taliban group has not yet commented about the incident.
Former President Hamid Karzai in a recent statement condemned Taliban attack on Kunduz and offered his condolences.
He said,“Unfortunately, once again, the people of Kunduz have suffered losses due to intensified fighting in the city. While peace talks have reached a critical stage and Afghans are eagerly looking forward to it, foreign hands continue fueling the conflict.”
He further reiterated his call on both Afghan sides to end bloodshed and engage in talks for peace.
Meanwhile, the interior ministry on Sunday had confirmed in a statement that at least 20 Afghan security force members and 5 civilians were killed and 85 others including security forces were wounded in clashes in Kunduz.