Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
A civilian car struck a roadside bomb in Helmand’s Washir district, killing six members of a family and wounding two more on Sunday afternoon.
Zaman Hamdard, spokesperson for the provincial police, said the victims included two children, a woman and three men from the same family.
The explosion happened near a Taliban checkpoint.
President Ashraf Ghani condemned the bombing, called it a “crime against humanity” and called on the Taliban to stop planting mines.
Minister of Disaster Management Ghulam Bahauddin Jilani said over 1.3 million Afghan citizens are at a risk of flooding during the monsoons.
The loss of natural habitat due to the destruction of forests, reclamation of riverbanks and improper construction are the contributing factors to the increased flooding risk, Jilani told the news conference.
The ministry has made preparations to control and deal with the aftermath of the floods. They are in the process of distributing 1,000 tonnes of wheat among 750 families in Herat province.
Over the past few months, food packages and monetary aid has also been distributed to 650 families and 5,000 tons of wheat to those in need, said Jilani.
Around 137 Ugandans who had been stranded in Afghanistan due to the COVID-19 pandemic, were able to board an Egypt Air flight to return home on Saturday evening.
Most of the Ugandans who arrived at the Entebbe International Airport were private security guards in Afghanistan.
The retunees will now be quarantined at various centres including some at public schools and hotels.
The Ministry of Interior (MoI) announced that practical measures have been taken to prevent the recruitment of people under the age of 18 into the ranks of the Afghan National Police force.
A statement issued by the MoI said they had established the Department of Homeland Security in accordance with the law, to closely monitor the conduct of the police and prevent the recruitment of minors into the force.
The Interior Ministry said that they had also created an “Eps” system to register the police force, and one of the goals of this system is to prevent the recruitment of underage children.
The statement said that so far, the specifications of 80% of the police forces have been recorded in this system.
On June 25, the U.S. State Department released their ‘Trafficking in Person Report’ and added Afghanistan to a list of nations doing nothing to stop child sexual slavery and the recruitment of child soldiers.
“There have been constant reports of child molestation by the army, police and local police, but officers have never been prosecuted for child molestation in Afghanistan,” the report said.
The report did say, the government has increased the number of Child Protection Units at Afghan National Police recruitment centres and have prevented 357 minors from enlisting.
Local officials in Sar-e-Pul province claimed that a number of Taliban insurgents, including their local commanders, were killed and wounded in an airstrike in Paktia.
Zabiullah Amani, spokesperson for provincial governor, said that the strike targeted a Taliban gathering on Saturday in Kata Qala village of Sozma Qala district.
He did not give an exact number of casualties.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) also announced that 13 Taliban insurgents were killed in counter-attacks by Afghan security forces in Paktia province on Saturday night.
The militants had attacked a security checkpoint in the Dand Aw Patan district and Sayed Karam district.
Six Taliban members were also wounded in the attacks.
The Ministry of Public Health reported the addition of 351 new Coronavirus cases in the country over the past 24 hours, pushing their total to 30,967 cases.
The country also reported one of their highest death tolls as 34 fatalities were reported over the day, bringing the number of deaths to 737.
New cases were reported in the provinces of Kabul (220), Herat (24), Kunduz (17), Badakhshan (15), Takhar (12), Baghlan (11), Badghis (11), Daykundi (10), Kapisa (7), Logar (7), Nangarhar (5), Zabul (5), Wardak (3), Parwan (2), Kandahar (1) and Panjsher (1).
Health ministry officials said there were 24 unused ventilators in the inventory because the COVID-19 wards lacked the medical expertise to operate them.
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) opened a new 32-bed hospital in Herat that would only take in severe patients referred from existing COVID-19 facilities.
The Ghulam Khan border crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan opened for pedestrian movement on Saturday, after being closed for almost three months.
With the opening of the crossing, people stranded in the Afghan province of Khost and the Pakistani province of North Waziristan can proceed with their journeys.
The terminal itself, reopened on June 22 for bilateral transit trade.
Pakistan’s North Waziristan’s Deputy Commissioner Shahid Ali said pedestrians can cross the border on every Saturday while the rest of the six days are reserved for trade activities only.
He added that only the residents of North Waziristan are being allowed to enter Pakistan.
The Ministry of Interior announced 14 Taliban members died and 15 were wounded during clashes with the security forced in Saghar district in Ghor province.
The ministry also confirmed that three police officers were killed in the attacks intiated by the Taliban on Saturday night.
Uruzgan provincial officials said two Taliban militants were killed and nine injured in two separate attacks in the provincial capital of Tarinkot, and a landmine blast in Chenarto district.
The provincial governor’s spokesperson Zargi Ebadi said attacks in Tarinkot were carried out on Saturday night in three different places and went on till midnight.
Two security force members were killed and seven wounded in the clashes that also killed two Taliban members and wounded five.
A mine blast in the Chenarto district killed one security officer and wounded two on Sunday morning.
Officials confirmed that four Afghan soldiers and a police officer were killed in a Taliban attack at a security checkpoint in Kunduz’s Imam Sahib district.
Another police officer was wounded in the attack.
Kunduz governor’s spokesperson Esmatullah Moradi said the attack started around midnight and continued till 4am on Sunday at the Bakhmal Koocha area.
Additional support from Afghan security force members repulsed the attack and also killed four Taliban members.
Taliban hanged two young men in public for shaving their beards in Faryab province, Afghan Afghan security forces said.
“The terrorist Taliban hanged two young men just because they had shaved their beards, while the penalty for shaving of beard is not hanging in Islam,” the 209th Shaheen Corps said. “Taliban kills our countrymen in different ways.”
Taliban have not yet commented on the allegations.