Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Germany has pledged 72 million euros in aid to Afghanistan during a meeting between State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Martin Jaeger, and Afghan Acting Finance Minister Mohammad Humayon Qayoumi, in Kabul.
It brings up the total commitment to Afghan-German Cooperation projects in 2019 to 211 million euros.
“Germany is prepared to continue to support Afghanistan on its path towards peace and democracy,” Jaeger said. “Any future support needs to build upon the development gains made since 2001, particularly those which have benefitted women and girls. Germany will continue to play a prominent role as a long-term supporter of Afghanistan.”
According to finance ministry, Germany is eager to maintain its commitment as long as the Afghan government increases its anti-corruption measures, promotes good governance, and implements agreed reforms.
Of the new 72 million euro commitment, 53.5 million euros is allocated for ongoing projects, including the improvement of power supply by renewable energy and energy efficiency, Kunduz-Kholm national highway, and the Regional Infrastructure Development Fund.
At least 17 Taliban insurgents have been killed in a series of airstrikes launched by the Afghan forces in Baghlan, Paktia and Zabul provinces.
The authorities stated that the security forces conducted an airstrike in Pul-e Khumri district of Baghlan which killed 9 Taliban insurgents.
An airstrike in Jaji district of Paktia province killed 6 insurgents of the Taliban group, the officials said.
They also added that the security forces conducted another airstrike in Tarnek Wa Jaldak district of Zabul which killed 2 Taliban militants.
The Taliban group has not commented regarding the airstrikes so far.
Kabul Police have arrested three suspect individuals in connection to the armed robbery of 900,000 AFN cash and gold from the PD 18.
The Police of Kabul in a statement said the detainees were arrested in two separate operations.
Police forces also seized a Kalashnikov and a pistol from the detainees, the statement added.
In the meantime, security forces stated that the Police Special Unit have arrested five other suspects on charges of terrorist activities from Dawlat Abad district of Balkh province.
At least 14 security forces have been killed and wounded in clashes with the Taliban insurgents in Nasi district of Badakhshan province, local officials said.
A provincial council member of Badakhshan, Abdullah Naji told reporters that the security forces faced a Taliban’s ambush last night and the clashes are still underway.
According to the Naji, the brigade commander with reinforcements is on their way to the area to start a clearance operation.
This comes as a US watchdog reported a high level record in Afghan security forces’ casualties.
Afghan security forces have killed eight Taliban insurgents and detained 15 others during several operations in Zabul, Helmand, Balkh and Paktia provinces.
The military officials declared that the Special Forces killed four Taliban militants and arrested six others during a raid in Qalat district of Zabul province.
The officials stated that the Special Force killed three Taliban insurgents and arrested another militant during a raid in Musa Qala district of Helmand province.
According to the officials, security forces arrested 5 Taliban militants and destroyed a cache of weapons during a separate operation in Dowlatabad district of Balkh.
The Special Forces killed a Taliban insurgent and arrested three others during a patrol in Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand, the officials said, adding that they also destroyed a cache of weaponry during a separate operation in Zurmat district of Paktia.
Afghanistan Presidential Palace, United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the US embassy in Kabul have strongly condemned the killing of children in Takhar incident.
Presidential Palace in a statement said that Ghani denounced the killing of children and called in a brutal and inhuman act.
“The President emphasized that the Taliban cannot weaken the will of our people, especially the next generation, for the sake of science and progress,” the statement said.
In the meantime, UNAMA tweeted that it alarmed by reports indicating nine children killed today in a blast in Takhar.
“Human Rights’ team is actively following up to establish the facts. Killing and maiming of children during armed conflict is a grave violation,” UNAMA said.
At the same time, US ambassador in Kabul, John Bass also strongly condemned the wanton disregard for the lives of innocent civilians.
“What a horrific day. 9 kids killed after hitting a landmine walking to school in Takhar. 7 people killed in Paktika. 11 injured in Baghlan. The Taliban are the ones preventing peace in Afghanistan,” he said.
A landmine explosion killed nine children in Darqad district of Takhar province on Saturday when the children stepped on a mine that had been planted on a road in a Taliban-controlled village.