Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
At least 64 Taliban insurgents have been killed and injured in past 24 hours in Faryab province, security officials said.
The Faryab police press office in a statement on Sunday said that Taliban’s attempts to disrupt election process were failed and the group suffered heavy causalities in clashes with security forces.
According to the statement 8 insurgents were killed and 7 others injured in an airstrike carried out in Bilchiragh district.
The statement said that 21 other insurgents were killed including an Uzbek national and 5 others were injured.
16 Taliban fighters killed and 8 others injured in Almar, Qaysar, and Khwaja Sabz Posh districts, according to the statement.
Faryab police also added that several Afghan security forces were killed and 11 others injured in the clashes with Taliban.
Meanwhile, as a result of Taliban rocket attack on Election Day, a child and a woman were killed and 4 others including children were injured.
Jowzjan provincial governor, Lutfullah Azizi has said that around 20000 qualified voters could not go to the polling centers on Election Day in the province due to the security threats.
Addressing a press conference in Jowzjan on Sunday, Azizi said that election materials have been transferred to 55 polling centers but due to heavy clashes with Taliban the elections have not been held in 2 polling centers which are situated in Qarqin and Darzab districts.
He noted that 37000 voters have cast their votes yesterday in the capital and also in the districts of the province whereas the number had reached 57000 in the parliamentary election.
The provincial governor attributed the low turnout to security reasons.
The Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) said that the Independent Election Commission (IEC) latest report stated that 4,500 polling centers have been open across the country while FEFA’s findings show that around 3,891 centers have been throughout Afghanistan.
FEFA in a statement on Sunday said that its observers’ findings on holding the presidential election across the country suggest that the IEC and monitoring bodies had lost connections with some provinces during Election Day due to outage of telecom networks. Hence, the given reports about open centers are not verifiable.
The organization declared that in some districts the polling centers were closed due to lack of election materials.
The overall turnout, especially women were low in all provinces and the lack of coordination and effective communication between IEC with polling stations has been one of the most serious glitches that disrupted the voting process in some provinces and even Kabul, FEFA noted.
“The election commission’s decision on solving technical issues of the voting process, namely regarding the voters whose names were missing either in the printed copy of the list or on the device, was not shared with heads and also polling centers and stations staff about three hours after it was declared,” according to FEFA.
The FEFA monitoring report stated that polling staffs did not follow a single procedure during voter registration and voting process, and in some polling stations, even in Kabul the staff responsible for the biometric devices took photos from ID cards and in some cases from election stickers stamped on the back of ID cards.
The Free and Fair Elections Forum has noted that problems with the biometric system and security challenges affected the electoral process in different parts of the country.
The FEFA report stressed that the preliminary and also overall assessments indicate that the voting process faced glitches and deficiencies.
The organization called on the electoral commissions to investigate the election violations and to ensure transparency in the counting and announcement of primary and final results and also to distinct clean and foul votes, consider transparent and clear mechanisms and report independently and statistically.
This election body also called on security institutions to prosecute individuals and/or fraudulent organizations.
A number of Ghazni inhabitants staged a protest, alleging an overnight airstrike has killed three civilians in the province, local officials said.
The spokesman for the provincial police chief, Ahmad Khan Sirat said Sunday that at least five Taliban insurgents and three civilians have been killed during an operation in Khaja Omari district.
Serat stated that dozens of people form Khaja Omari district brought the bodies to local authorities in front of the governor’s office in the regional capital of Ghazni.
Serat said that the provincial governor and police chief will meet today to respond to the protesters’ demands.
In the meantime, a number of the residents of Ghazni said that as a result of police firings, six protesters have been wounded and Police prevented them to move toward the city route.
A prominent Taliban leader has been killed in an airstrike in Ghazni province, Ministry of Defense (MoD) said.
MoD in a statement on Sunday said that the Taliban prominent leader, Mawlavi Abdul Hanan was killed in a raid carried out in Khogyani district.
The statement further noted that Mawlavi Hanan was also a member of the military commission of Taliban in Ghazni.
Ghazni province is one of the most insecure provinces in the country, which despite tight security measures taken for presidential election, it witnessed security incidents and almost half of its polling centers were closed on polling day yesterday.
NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg has commended the Afghan men and women who exercised their democratic right to vote in Afghanistan Presidential Election.
“NATO stands with Afghanistan to create the conditions for peace”, Stoltenberg said in a Twitter post.
In the meantime, the Turkish Foreign Ministry praised Saturday’s presidential polls in Afghanistan for their relative “secure atmosphere”.
“We hope that the elections will provide a new momentum for efforts towards a lasting and just peace,” said Turkish Foreign Ministry Sunday in a statement following Saturday’s presidential elections.
The statement expressed Turkey’s hope for an administration which would embrace all segments of Afghan society.
“We hope that the candidates will exercise common sense and restraint until the Independent Election Commission announces the final results,” it added.
Voting in Afghanistan’s presidential election has ended last night amid complaints of irregularities and serious security incidents in several provinces.
The Independent Election Commission said polls closed at 5:00 pm after a two-hour extension due to long lines of people.
About 9.6 million of the 34 million populations were registered to vote for one of the 14 candidates.
The Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) said that around 1,869 complaints have been registered in the commission so far.
Addressing a news conference on Saturday night, IECC Chairperson, Zuhra Bayan Shinwari said, “1,869 complaints have been registered in the commission and the nature of the complaints is not clear yet, but will be obvious soon.”
Shinwari noted that the IECC is committed to honestly and impartially address the registered complaints.
The secretary and spokesperson for the commission, Mohammad Qasim Elyasi also declared that the evaluations show yesterday’s election (28 September) was far better compared to the last year’s parliamentary election.
He added that the final number of voters is not reported yet and the complaints registered on Election Day with IECC is also not ultimate and is subject to change in next 48 hours because people can register their complaints within next 48 hours at provincial and Central IECC.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has announced that more than 1.051 million voters cast their votes in over 2,597 polling stations across the country in presidential elections.
IEC officials in a press conference on Saturday night said that the voters at 2,597 polling centers have been more than 1 million and that is an estimated number.
The officials noted that the numbers were counted by telephone and based on reports from the polling stations’ authorities, polling centers officials and IEC provincial offices.
Brigadier General Nikoloz Janjgava, who serves as First Deputy Chief of Georgian Defense Forces, will become the first Georgian to work as Deputy Chief of Staff for Security Assistance in NATO’s Resolute Support peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan.
As per Agenda.GE report, the military commander has been confirmed on the high-ranking position which usually sees professionals from the alliance’s member countries appointed for the responsibility.
Janjgava will work in Kabul to ensure “close military-diplomatic ties” between the Afghan government and the top civilian NATO representative, the Ministry of Defense of Georgia said.
The ministry also announced the Georgian general would coordinate and control the work of international advisors involved in developing readiness of Afghan defense and security forces during his one-year tenure on the new position.
The Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan was launched in 2015 and involves about 17,000 personnel from nearly 40 NATO member and partner countries.
The mission serves to train, advice and assist Afghan defense and security forces and support them through funding.
Janjgava has worked at the Georgian defense ministry since the early 1990s and as the First Deputy Chief of the GDF since 2016.
He has received extensive military training at United States defence academies and schools including the US Army Inspector General School, the National Defense University at the National War College and the US Army Infantry School.
The Brigadier General is a recipient of awards and titles including the Order of Honour of Georgia and NATO Afghanistan Medal.