Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The Taliban have released 27 members of the People’s Peace Movement (PPM), who were abducted in Farah province two days before, the movement confirmed on Thursday.
The spokesman of the movement, Besmellah Watandost in his twitter account confirmed that the 27 members have been released by Taliban.
He added that the released 27 of peace march are now on their way on Farah route.
This comes as the Taliban insurgents abducted the 27 PPM members on Tuesday in Balabolok district of Farah.
The UN special representative, Tadamichi Yamamoto has said that the United Nations remains committed to supporting an inclusive Afghan-led process that upholds the human rights of all citizens and leads to sustainable peace.
UN special envoy in a press release said that the war in Afghanistan continues to take an appalling toll on civilians.
“I recognize with extreme sadness that civilian casualties recently surpassed 100,000 in the past 10 years alone, from the time the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) began systematic documentation of civilian casualties in 2009 to the present,” Yamamoto said.
“As I told the Security Council last week, whatever the outcome of the presidential election may be, peace will be the issue of paramount importance to the new administration. I reiterate the call by the United Nations for everyone to raise their voices for peace, and for all stakeholders to make genuine and concrete steps toward ending the war, as there can be no military solution to the conflict in this country,” he asserted.
According to the press release, the United Nations maintains that intra-Afghan talks which include women and youth are essential for an Afghan-owned peace process and are fundamental to all ongoing peace efforts.
The press release added that the United Nations urged those participating in all peace efforts to consider the millions of ordinary Afghans, especially the victims of the conflict, who want a chance to live in peace so they can rebuild their lives in a country that is stable, just and economically prosperous, and where their human rights are protected.
The Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah has assured the Afghan people to defend their clean votes.
Speaking at a gathering of Hezb-e Wahdat-e Islami Afghanistan on Thursday, CE Abdullah said, “I assure the people of Afghanistan that your votes will be defended.”
Abdullah declared that after years of Jihad, now the Afghan people have gained the rights to choose and to vote. “The Jamiat-e-Islami party and Hezb-e-Islami party will never stand against each other,” he said.
“I say with confidence that most of the people and political parties are on the same path against fraud,” CE asserted. Abdullah emphasized that lying constitutes the basis for the working of his rival team, saying if they see that lying benefits them for even five minutes, they will not refrain from it.
“We are facing a team for whom “lies” and “fraud” are their two main attributes,” he added.
The Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) says the process of registering complaints regarding the announcement of the preliminary results of the presidential election has been ended and the provincial offices of the commission have begun addressing the complaints today.
The IECC chairperson, Zuhra Bayan Shinwari in a press conference on Thursday said, “Our colleagues at the IECC headquarters have registered about 16,500 complaints throughout the country. Out of the total number of registered complaints, about 14,200 complaints were from 33 provinces and about 2,300 complaints were registered in the Kabul Provincial Office. ”
Shinwari stated that the majority of electoral teams have filed their complaints; the Stability and Partnership team led by Abdullah Abdullah filed 8,000 complaints, the Peace and Justice team filed about 4,400 complaints, the State Builder team filed more than 4 thousand complaints and the Peace and Justice team registered about 15 complaints.
According to IECC officials, the results of the addressing the complaints will be announced after 15 days.
The leader of Hezb-e Wahdat-e Islami Afghanistan, Muhammad Karim Khalili says no one can govern Afghanistan with fraud and irregularities.
During a gathering of Hezb-e Wahdat-e Islami Afghanistan on Thursday, Khalili said, “We want transparency. The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has announced the preliminary elections result in a very disastrous way which is unacceptable for the electoral teams and the Afghan people.”
Point to the recent protests of the “Stability and Partnership” electoral team, Khalili declared that before the preliminary results were announced, people in more than 20 provinces have raised their voices, which was a small sample that the commission should have noticed.
He stressed that the voices of all influential parties had been ignored by the IEC but added that the other important steps remain and all are looking for the next steps.
The Ministry of Defense (MoD) confirmed that at least six army soldiers were killed in a car bomb explosion in northern Balkh province on Thursday morning.
MoD in a press release said that the blast happened near a military base in Balkh district at around 04:30a.m. (local time).
According to the press release, at least three other army soldiers were wounded in the incident.
MoD Further added that investigations are underway regarding the incident.
The Taliban group has not commented regarding the incident so far.
Afghan security officials confirmed that an explosion took place on Thursday morning in Khost province.
The spokesman of Khost Police, Adel Haidar has confirmed to Reporterly that a blast took place at the vicinicty of Khost province early this morning.
Haidar added that the investigation team has gone to the area and there are no further details about the nature of the incident.
Afghan local officials say at least nine people have been killed in a traffic accident in Ghazni province.
The office of Ghazni governor in a statement said that a vehicle collided with a gas tanker on Kabul-Kandahar highway on Wednesday night near Toda China area of Abb Band district.
According to the Ghazni governor’s office, the incident was caused by high speed and traffic violations by the drivers, and the driver of the gas tanker fled the area and efforts are underway for arresting him.
The insurgents has attacked a police Ranger vehicle in the northern city of Kunduz, killing one officer and injuring another, provincial police chief Abdul Rashid Bashir said.
The attack took place at around 6:30 a.m. (local time). According to Bashir, efforts to capture the assailants are still ongoing.
A civilian source, in turn, stated that one policeman was killed in the attack, adding, however, that two other officers and three civilians sustained injuries.
Earlier in the day, the Afghan joint forces launched an operation in the Kandahar district of Maiwand, resulting in 25 people dead and another five injured, according to spokesman for the Afghan National Army’s 205th Corps Yahya Alawi.
The remains of Sgt. 1st Class Michael James Goble were returned to the United States on Christmas Day after he died from injuries sustained during combat operations in Afghanistan on Monday.
Goble, 33, was serving as a Weapons Sergeant to Company C, 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, and was operating in the Kunduz Province when he was wounded.
He had deployed to Afghanistan other two times before his death. Goble is the 20th U.S. service member to be killed in Afghanistan this year.
His remains were flown into Dover Air Force Base on Wednesday for the dignified transfer, with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley in attendance.