Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
First Vice President Amrullah Saleh said the Haqqani network and the Islamic State (Daesh) group had launched a “public war” against residents of western Kabul and security coverage would be different due to the severity of the threat.
Saleh wrote on his Facebook page on Tuesday that work has begun to get the comments of people on security measures in the area.
“When our oppressed patriots are attacked and assassinated just for studying and trying to acquire knowledge, to reduce that pain, we all become Shiites and do not recognize the religious frontier,” saleh said.
He said they will continue to investigate the Kowsar-e Danesh attack till the perpetrators are brought to justice.
Saleh also said that those suspected of ties with terrorists will be prosecuted and held accountable.
He said that it was necessary for people to know the “bloodthirsty figures” and those who are the enemies of the “nation and state.”
He added that the cabinet has strongly rejected those opposing the “name and shame” campaign of printing posters of criminals.
The plan to launch zamraks in schools has also been approved by the cabinet.
He also said that there will be a clear separation between the police and the national security spheres. The organisation of national security forces will be secret, and the public presence of national security in Kabul will be removed.
Kabul Police confirmed that three civilians were killed and at least 10 others were wounded when a magnetic mine exploded in the capital on Tuesday afternoon.
Ferdowz Faramarz, spokesperson for Kabul Police, told Reporterly that the explosion happened in the Sarai Char Qala area near the Aria Township in PD10, close to the airport road.
The mine was placed in a car and exploded at around 1:30 p.m.
Farmarz emphasized that all victims were civilians.
He said police investigations are ongoing.
No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Ministry of Interior said the attack on the police special unit in the provincial capital of Khost has ended with the death of seven assailants after almost nine hours on Tuesday.
The clashes began at 5:50 a.m. after a car bomb exploded and the attackers entered the compound and faced off against the Afghan security forces.
Gov. Sediq Patman said in an interview that the attackers had prepared three car bombs but two explosions were prevented by the security forces.
The initial casualties are said to be at least three people killed and 25 injured, including civilians and security personnel.
Tĺhe UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation (MoRR) have launched a $10 million programme with the financial support for the Saudi Arabian government, aimed at reintegrating returnees and internally displaced people in Afghanistan.
The project aims to provide essential services to facilitate community development. Construction will start on 37 schools, health clinics, and infrastructure projects like roads and water networks across Afghanistan.
“The government is firmly committed to ensuring the voluntary repatriation and sustainable reintegration of all displaced Afghans. It constitutes one of our highest national priorities,” said Noor Rahman Akhlaqi, head of MoRR.
The programme was launched in June 2020, helping some 3 million people and is expected to be completed by May 2021. Saudi Arabia is funding up to 14 projects in Bamiyan, Kabul, Nangarhar and Kandahar.
“We are grateful to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for this very generous donation for
supporting the people of Afghanistan,” said Caroline Van Buren, UNHCR Representative
All the projects are in 20 priority areas identified by the government for return and reintegration where returnees and displaced people are living among local communities.
There are 4.6 million Afghans outside Afghanistan, of whom 2.7 million are registered refugees. Collectively, they represent one of the longest-displaced, longest-dispossessed populations worldwide.
Pekka Haavisto, Finland’s Foreign Minister is on a visit to Afghanistan to discuss the peace process and the upcoming international pledging conference in Geneva.
“A stable Afghanistan is in the interest of Finland and the whole Europe,” the government of Finland said.
Haavisto met President Ashraf Ghani, acting Foreign Minister Haneef Atmar and National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib.
They discussed the Afghanistan 2020 Conference which is being co-chaired by Finland and developments in the Afghan peace process.
Ghani said the conference showed the international community’s interests in preserving the achievements of the past 19 years, including women and children’s rights, and the democratic system in Afghanistan.
Mohib discussed peace and security in the nation and said Afghanistan “seeks to protect” civilian lives, human rights and democracy.
The Afghanistan 2020 Conference is scheduled for Nov. 23-24 and the aim is to support the nation’s road towards sustainable development, peace, prosperity and self-reliance.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) announced that in the past 24 hours, 95 new Coronavirus cases were found positive from the 489 samples tested across Afghanistan.
According to the MoPH, five people succumbed to the virus while 67 have recovered, pushing those figures to 1,523 deaths and 34,217 recoveries.
New cases were reported in the provinces of Herat (34), Balkh (23), Baghlan (10), Kandahar (7), Kunduz (5), Nangarhar (3), Kabul (2), Paktia (2), Logar (2), Laghman (2), Helmand (2), Ghazni (1), Wardak (1) and Kunar (1)
With the addition of new cases, Afghanistan has confirmed 41,032 COVID-19 cases so far, of which 5,292 are active.
Officials confirmed that 12 people have been killed and nine have been wounded in road accidents on in Herat and Balkh provinces.
Health officials in Herat said that three people were killed and four were injured in an accident along the Herat-Islam Qala highway on Tuesday morning. They did not give any further details.
The Balkh collision was more deadly with nine killed when two fast-moving vehicles collided in the Qala-e-Qul Mohammad area along the Mazar-i-Sharif to Kabul highway on Monday evening at around 5 p.m.
Adel Shah Adel, spokesperson for Balkh Police told Reporterly that the victims included women and children, while five others were also injured.
The United States commended the efforts of the Afghan forces for carrying out an operation killing the key Al Qaeda member Abu Muhsin al-Masri.
“His removal is welcome news in the fight against Al Qaeda and denying it a safe haven in Afghanistan,” the U.S. National Security Council said in a tweet.
The comments from U.S. officials come two days after Afghanistan’s security forces first announced al-Masri’s death on Saturday.
U.S. National Counterterrorism Center Director Christopher Miller told Reuters that the killing of al-Masri “is a major setback” for Al Qaeda, though he declined to share additional details.
Al-masri, who is an Egyptian national, was also featured on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Most Wanted Terrorist list.
President Ashraf Ghani had commended the security forces and stressed that the death of a key Al Qaeda member in Afghanistan showed that the Taliban is yet to break their ties with the militant group.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that they were making the utmost efforts to ensure that there is peace in Afghanistan.
Khan was at the “Pakistan-Afghanistan Trade and Investment Forum 2020” in Islamabad, which was also attended by a 17-member Afghan parliamentary delegation led by Mir Rahman Rahmani, speaker of the House of Representatives.
He said a ceasefire in Afghanistan will benefit Pakistan too.
“I feel the pain of Afghans when they are martyred as result of violence. We are making efforts for reduction in violence in Afghanistan. We want reduction in violence that can lead to a ceasefire and ultimately restoration of a durable peace in Afghanistan,” Khan said.
“The Pakistani government, the armed forces and the intelligence agencies are positively contributing to help end violence and restore peace in Afghanistan,” he added.
Khan said they favoured open borders with Afghanistan for trade like the European nations as both countries have vast potential for investment and economic activities. Promising to facilitate trade and investment, he said peace in Afghanistan was inevitable for regional growth.
“After Afghanistan, Pakistan has suffered the most due to the conflict,” he said, expressing support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.
Khan also stated that Pakistan will extend support to any government which comes into power in Afghanistan as they wanted to see their “neighbour free from the menace and scourge of war and terrorism.”
“Pakistan will do all that is required to boost its trade,” he remarked, adding that trade and industries are important for the development of Afghanistan.
Afghan speaker Rahmani said they valued the contributions of Pakistan to the peace process and stressed on the need for enhancing parliamentary contacts.
Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar told visiting U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo that India has stakes in Afghanistan’s stability, and that decision about the country’s future should be made by Afghans without use of force.
The two met at India’s capital city of Delhi on Monday — a day before the third India-US 2+2 ministerial meeting was set to start.
After his meeting with Pompeo, Jaishankar tweeted, “Discussed key bilateral, regional and global issues. Reviewed progress in ties: grown substantially in every domain. Our foreign policy consultations and cooperation have expanded.”
Indian media said that Pompeo shared the U.S. administration’s thinking on Afghanistan with Jaishankar.
Jaishankar also made it clear that cross-border terrorism was “completely unacceptable” to India.
At least two people were killed and 25 wounded in the a car bombing followed by clashes in the compound of the police special unit in the provincial capital of Khost on Tuesday morning, security officials confirmed.
The Ministry of Interior (MoI) said a car bomb first exploded at around 5:50 a.m. near the unit’s base in the former governor’s house of the province. After that attackers entered the complex and clashes broke out, which are ongoing.
Taria Arian, spokesperson for the MoI said so far, four of the terrorists have been killed by the police forces and they are trying to eliminate two others.
Meanwhile, the injured include at last 10 civilians.