Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
At least 43 Taliban insurgents including three group leaders were killed and wounded, in Faryab province, security officials said.
Faryab press office in a statment said on Saturday that, as a result of airstrikes and clashes between security forces and Taliban, 24 insurgents were killed including Qari Jan Aqa and Mullah Abdulazim Arab and 19 others were injured.
The statement added that the clashes happened in Darul Mualimin area of Shirin Tagab district of the province.
Two members of security forces were also killed in the clashes and 4 others were injured, the statment confirmed.
According to the statement, a rocket fired by Taliban group hit two residential homes during the clashes and resulted in injuries of one woman and two children.
Additionally, 23 motorcycles, one vehicle and 3 Taliban compounds were destroyed in the airstrike.
The Afghan government has welcomed the latest remarks made by the US Defense Secretary Mark Esper regarding the Afghan peace process.
The President’s spokesman, Sediq Sediqi praised Pentagon Chief’s remarks and said, “We echo the need for sustainable peace, end of violence and a meaningful peace that would guarantee the security of Afghanistan and its allies.”
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Saturday that while it was seeking a political agreement with the Taliban, Washington would not accept just any deal after a wave of violence cast a shadow over its talks with the insurgent group.
“The US’ view is that the best way forward is a political agreement and that (is what) we’re working diligently on right now, that doesn’t mean we’ll take any deal,” Esper said during a press conference in Paris with his French counterpart.
Under the draft accord with the Taliban, thousands of US troops would be withdrawn over the coming months in exchange for guarantees that Afghanistan would not be used as a base for militant attacks on the US and its allies.
At least six journalists were abducted by Taliban in Zurmat district of Paktia province, local officials said. The incident happened late on Friday in Saraki area of Zurmat district of Paktia province.
Taliban group abducted six journalists late Friday evening from Saraki area of Zurmat district, Shah Mahmood Aryan Paktika police spokesperson told Reporterly.
He added, “Saraki area is under control of Taliban group and the group abducts suspicious civilians and security personnel now and then.”
According to Paktika police spokesperson, the journalists were from Radio Kilid, National Radio, Radio Melma and Paktika local Radios.
Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has announced that Monday and Tuesday (9 and 10 Sep) are public holidays.
The Ministry in a statement said that Monday is a holiday on account of death anniversary ceremony of Ahmad Shah Massoud and Tuesday on the occasion of 10th of Muraham. The holiday is applicable countrywide.
Meanwhile, Kabul Garrison Command asked the residents of the city to cooperate with security forces on Monday and Tuesday for providing better security to the ceremonies and urged them to refrain from carrying weapons and indulge in random firings.
Security officials confirmed that Anar Dara district of Farah province has collapsed to the Taliban.
Speaking to Reporterly, Mohibullah Mohid, spokesperson for Farah province said that, “As a result of Taliban attack, security forces withdrew from Anar Dara district and joined national army forces”.
Mohibullah attributed the retreat of security forces from district to lack of personnel and ammunition and added that the clearance operation is underway.
He said that 400 NDS forces came to Farah province and a large-scale operation to suppress Taliban insurgents will be launched.
The situation of Farah city is normal and is under control of security forces. Clearance operations are underway in villages and outskirts of the city and Taliban have escaped from the areas, according to Farah police spokesperson.
Mohibullah said that two police personnel were killed and 4 others were injured in yesterday’s clashes and the health condition of one of the injured is critical. He added that four civilians were also injured in the clashes.
The Taliban group launched offensive attack on Farah city yesterday and captured the recruitment centre of National Army. They had also advanced to Farah police command, but the assault was repelled and insurgents suffered heavy casualties.
Security officials said that Afghan security forces succeeded in recapturing Wardoj district from Taliban after 5 years.
National and Defense security forces launched large-scale operations in Badakhshan and recaptured Wardoj district from the control of Taliban, Ministry of Defense in a statement said on Saturday.
The statement further added that 100 Taliban insurgents including Qari Fasihuddin, Taliban shadow governor and Qari Hafiz, Head of Taliban military for Badakhshan were killed in the operations carried out to retake the district.
The ministry said that Afghan security forces did not suffer any casualties in the operation.
Earlier, security forces had launched large-scale operations on 29 August to recapture the districts under control of Taliban in Badakhshan.
Kabul Garrison Command asked the residents of the city and its surrounding districts to refrain from carrying weapons and shooting during Ashura ceremony and the Week of Martyrs.
“The security forces are committed to provide securing for Ashura Day Ceremony and commemoration of the Week of Martyrs, and considering the high security threats, the citizens should cooperate with security forces to prevent terrorist activities”, Kabul Garrison Command said in a statement on Saturday.
The statement added that, Kabul residents should thwart use of government vehicles in mourning convoys on Ashura Day and Week of Martyrs and also avoid wearing uniforms of security and defence forces.
Kabul Garrison emphasised that vehicle convoys are prohibited to enter the roads, in order to prevent the disruption of traffic and public order.
The Kabul Garrison warned that,“In case of violation, Kabul Garrison Command and Kabul security team will seriously react to the offenders.”
This warning by Garrison was issued as Monday 9th September marks the anniversary of martyrdom of Afghan National Hero Ahmad Shah Massoud and also the ninth day of Muharam.
The Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) says its information manager Hashmat Bahadori has been assassinated in Kabul.
ANDMA stated that Bahadori was assisnated by unidentified individuals after a prayer in front of the mosque and when he was on his way to home.
No one or group has claimed responsibility for the incident so far.
Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs reported that its acting minister, Abdulhakim Monib was assaulted.
The ministry said that Abdulhakim Monib the acting minister of Hajj and Religious Affairs was assaulted by Mullah Tarakhel, his brother Dadullah and another member of his family in ARG mosque on Friday.
The incident happened after the acting Hajj minister refused to accept the illegal demands of Mullah Tarakhel, the ministry added.
The minister has called on to the president to seriously investigate the incident and bring to justice the irresponsible armed individuals who extort money from government employees.
The Pentagon has announced that Sgt. 1st Class Elis Angel Barreto Ortiz, was killed in a car bomb attack in Kabul on Thursday.
Serving with the 3rd Combat Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, Barretto was one of 12 people killed in the attack, credit for which was claimed by the Taliban.
“With honor and courage, Sgt. 1st Class Barreto answered our nation’s call to deploy and serve in Afghanistan,” said Col. Arthur Sellers, commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, in a statement. “In this most difficult time, his loved ones are now surrounded by a community of love and caring by members of our Paratrooper Family Readiness Group.”
That blast also killed a Romanian soldier who was supporting Resolute Support, a NATO training mission in Afghanistan. Representatives from Taliban and U.S. have been engaging in talks to end the ongoing conflict there.
Barreto was a maintenance control sergeant assigned to Company H, 82nd Brigade Support Battalion BSB, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He is survived by his wife and children of Cameron, North Carolina.
Barretto is the 16th American service member to be killed in combat this year. Overall, 19 Americans have been killed as part of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, the U.S. counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan.
The number of American fatalities this year is the highest since 2014, when the U.S. officially switched from combat operations to a train-and-advisory mission.