All Updates and Live Reporting Across Afghanistan
At least 12 uprising forces were killed in an insider attack in Ghorian district of Herat province on Friday night, local officials confirmed.
The spokesman of Herat Police, Abdul Ahad Walizada told Reporterly that a Taliban inflitrators opened fire on the uprising forces Police in a checkpoint at around 21:00pm last night.
According to Walizada, the Taliban infiltrators also seized all arms and weapons of the checkpoint.
He added that a delegation has been assigned to probe the incident.
The Afghanistan Journalists’ Center (AFJC) in its annual report on violence against journalists said that the targeted killings of journalists and the escalation of self-censorship in Afghanistan had increased over the past year.
According to AFJC report, 112 cases, including deaths, injuries, physical violence, insults, threats, pressure and intimidation, or attacks and acts of sabotage have been registered against journalists and media workers in the country over the past year.
Ahmad Qureshi, director of the Afghanistan Journalists’ Center, said: “2020 was a different year than 2019 in terms violence against the Afghan media community. Of the eight cases in which media workers were killed, six were terrorists cases, which, in addition to increasing threats and an organized increase in access to information, fueled journalists’ fear and self-censorship were also recorded.”
According to him, Covid-19 pandemic has also killed at least seven media workers.
The Afghanistan Journalists’ Center said the figures were similar to those of 2019, but unprecedented in terms of the higher number of targeted killings of media workers.
Statistics from AFJC report show that three presenters, two reporters, a cameraman, a technical staff member and a media service worker were killed during 2020.
Safar Mohammad Atal, presenter of Radio Samoun in Lashkar Gah city of Helmand, Ahmad Khan Navid, presenter of Radio Seda Ghor in Firoozkooh, Mir Vahedshah Amiri, reporter and Shafiq Zabih, cameraman of Khorshid TV in Kabul, Elias Daei, reporter of Radio Azadi in Lashkar Gah city, the driver of a media outlet in Jalalabad and Rahmatullah Nikzad, a freelance journalist were among the killed.
Yama Siavash, a former TV presenter, was also killed in an explosion in Kabul, which the Afghan Journalists Center says has not yet been linked to media work. He was working for the Central Bank at the time.
Regarding the death of Fardin Amini, the Afghanistan Journalists’ Center also said that the initial police investigation into the murder of the News presenter Fardin Amini did not prove that he had been killed.
The center did not include their names in the list of victims of the media community.
During 2020, 19 journalists and media workers were injured in criminal cases as well as terrorist incidents in different provinces of the country.
According to the Afghanistan Journalists’ Center, a significant number of incidents of violence, threats and insults against journalists have also been recorded during this period.
These include 45 cases of threats, 11 cases of physical violence, six cases of detention, six cases of abduction and four cases of armed action against journalists and the media workers.
Following the recent increase in targeted assassinations of journalists in Afghanistan, a number of civil society activists and the media representatives in Herat province, has called on the government identify and punish the prepatrators of the recent targeted killings of journalists and civil activists in the country.
Civil society activists in Herat say that after a long time, the government has not been able to determine which individuals or groups are involved in the assassinations.
According to them, journalists and civil society activists have always supported human and religious values and have not supported any group during the litigation and have been neutral.
In the meantime, a number of journalists, criticizing the government’s poor performance in ensuring the security of citizens, call for a thorough investigation into the recent assassinations of journalists and civil society activists in the country.
According to the reporters, the government has expressed condolences over the past two decades and has fallen short of its main task.
The assassination and killing of journalists, civil activists and influential people in the last two months in different provinces of the country has caused concern among citizens and activists of the media and civil society.
Following the controversial dismissal of the Public Health Minister, Ahmad Javad Osmani by President Ghani, Arg says there is no need for “marginal” discussions or reconsideration.
The Presidential Palace said in a statement on Saturday that based on the constitution, the appointments and dismissals of senior government officials is one of the authorities of the president.
According to the President, “the former Minister of Public Health has been dismissed by the decree number (13969) of Afghan President and there is no need for controversial discussions or reconsideration.”
The Acting Minister of Public Health will be announced soon, the presidential statement said.
Meanwhile, the sacked Minister of Public Health, Ahmad Javad Osmani, published a letter from the Presidential Administration two days ago stating that he had not resigned from the Ministry of Public Health.
The letter from Presidential administrative office stated that President Ghani had approved the resign following a letter from Ahmad Javad Osmani.
Security officials in Herat province confirm that Taliban militants have kidnapped the passengers of a bus on the Herat-Turghandi highway.
Herat police spokesman Atiqullah Wathiq said that the the incident took place around 9:00 a.m. today (Saturday).
He did not provide details on the number of passengers abducted or where the Taliban had taken them.
This comes as insecurity on the Herat-Turghandi highway has recently increased.
At least 286 Taliban militants including 42 commanders and key members of the group were killed and 219 more including 25 key members were wounded during a joint operation under the name of “Shahin 119” in Faryab province.
The 209 Shahin Corps said in a statement on Saturday that Afghan forces seized 171 types of weapons, 84 vehicles, and destroyed 29 bases and underground tunnels during the operation.
According to the statement, the Taliban militants have been cleared of from the Andkhoy four districts, Khaja Sabz Posh, Qaidar and Almar districts during the operations.
However, the statement did not mention about the casualties of security forces in the operations.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Sutarday reported 120 new positive cases of coronavirus out of 1,230 samples tested in the last 24 hours.
The ministry also reported 11 deaths and 116 recoveries from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
The cumulative number of total cases is now 52,706 the number of total reported deaths is 2,222 and the total number of recoveries is 42,291.
The new cases were reported in Kabul, Herat, Kandahar, Takhar, Nangarhar, Balkh, Parwan, Baghlan, Nimroz, Daikundi, Laghman, Kunar, Fatah, Zabul, Samangan and Sar-e-pol provinces.
Following the assassination of Bismillah Adel Aimaq, the director of Sada-e Ghor Radio in Firuzkuh of Ghor province, Afghanistan Supporting Open Media- Nai has accused the government of being reckless in ensuring the safety of journalists and of not taking security threats against them seriously.
Nai in a statement said that Bismillah Adel Aimaq, the editor-in-chief of Sada-e Ghor radio in the city of Firuzkuh, was shot and killed by unknown gunmen yesterday evening.
“With the assassination of Mr. Aimaq, it was once again proven that the enemies of the Afghan people are purposefully targeting the elites of the country’s media community, and that the Afghan government is watching and failing to provide security for its citizens,” the statement said.
Nai noted that Aimaq had recently mentioned on his Facebook page the possibility of an attack on him, and had also mentioned in a letter that unknown people had attacked his house with a hand grenade and also in another case an unsuccessful armed attack on him.
Nai emphasized that in official letters, it had asked the security agencies to follow up on the cases and ensure the journalist’s life.
Responding to the assassination of the journalists, the security forces, especially the Ministry of Interior, called on the international community to do something about the presence of their forces in Afghanistan to share threatening information, as well as to investigate the security threats of journalists.
In the meantime, the Committee to Protect Afghan Journalists said in a statement that in the latest case, journalists in Ghor province shared their security threats during a meeting with the provincial police chief, but no measures have been taken to protect Aimaq.
The Committee to Protect Afghan Journalists has called on the government to investigate the assassination and called on the security agencies to “provide clear information and response to the country’s journalistic community as soon as possible.”
Afghan local officials confirmed that the Taliban’s shadow governor for Faryab province has been killed.
Abdul Karim Yourish, the spokesman of Faryab Police told Reporterly, “At least seven Taliban militants were killed on Friday night by their own hand-made bomb due to internal differences in Popal Zai village of Dawlat Abad district.”
According to Yourish, based on the primary information, Mawlavi Wakil Ahmad known as Mullah Nazim along with six of his men are among the killed.
He added that at least three more Taliban militants were wounded in the incident.
Pakistani National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar has asked the Afghan investors to become part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor, besides investing in Rashakai Special Economic Zone to usher its benefits.
The conclusion of Trade Agreements between Pakistan and Afghanistan would not only boost economic activity on both sides, but eventually help fighting the scourges of poverty and instability, the speaker said in a meeting with Afghan Minister for Commerce and Industries Nisar Ahmad Ghoryani.
Accoridng to Pakistan’s media, Asad Qaiser observed that Pakistan and Afghanistan are strategically significant trading partners however, trade between the two countries gradually declined due to trade barriers and lack of trade facilitation from either side.
He said that after eliminating trade barriers along with facilitating traders had not only enhanced the trade volume between Pakistan and Afghanistan but was also greatly contributing to poverty eradication and social uplift.
Mohammad Adil, the mastermind of the Kabul University attack, was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court, said the Ministry of Interior Affairs.
The Afghan Supreme Court has said in a statement that five other collaborators of the attack were sentenced to various jail terms on charges of treason, transfer of explosive materials and cooperation with IS-K group.
On November 2, at least 22 people were killed and over 40 others were wounded after two gunmen attacked Kabul University, a raid that ended after six hours.
In total, 18 students, 16 students from the Public Administration Faculty and two of them from the Law Faculty, lost their lives in the attack. The attackers had military uniforms.
Iran exported $1.2 billion worth of non-oil goods to Afghanistan during the eight-month period of the current year (March 20- November 21), according to the statistics of Iranian authorities.
As per Fars News Agency report, the recent statistics indicate that Iran exported 1.2 billion dollars of non-oil products to the neighboring Afghanistan during the 8 months of the current Iranian year while iron and steel were the major share of the exported products worth $70 million.
Iran’s Customs Administration (IRICA) announced that over 177.7 thousand tons of iron or steel bars, worth over $72.6 million, were exported to Afghanistan from March 20 to November 21.
Iran has also exported 798.1 thousand tons of white cement, worth over $21.4 million, to Afghanistan in the mentioned period.
In a relevant report in early December, it was announced that Afghanistan received the first cargo of Iran’s export goods through the newly-developed Khaf-Herat railway