Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The United States military is working on a plan to force America out of Afghanistan, the Pentagon has announced.
At a press conference at the Pentagon, US Department of Defense chief spokesman Jonathan Rath Hoffman has stressed military achievement over politics.
Hoffman did not provide details. He merely said that a pattern had already shaped among US military strategists and that planning was “at an early stage” for Afghanistan.
“We do not discuss ongoing operations. But we have had a successful experience and we certainly aren’t going to let that experience slip us,” he said. “We will be doing what’s necessary in Afghanistan.”
An estimated 3,531 babies will be born in Afghanistan in 2020, on New Year’s first day, UNICEF said on Wednesday.
Afghanistan’s babies will account for 0.9 per cent of the estimated 392,078 babies to be born on New Year’s Day.
“The beginning of a new year and a new decade is an opportunity to reflect on our hopes and aspirations not only for our future, but the future of those who will come after us,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director.
“As the calendar flips each January, we are reminded of all the possibility and potential of each child embarking on her or his life’s journey, if they are just given that chance.”
Each January, UNICEF celebrates babies born on New Year’s Day, an auspicious day for child birth around the world.
The Salang Pass has closed to traffic due to heavy winds and snowfall, said the Salang Pass protection department.
The Salang Pass protection department in a statement said that the pass has been closed since 12:00p.m. (local time) on Wednesday and will remain closed until further notice due to ongoing snowstorms in the area.
The department added that its rescue teams are busy transporting and guiding vehicles on the highway and will evacuate the vehicles and pedestrians as soon as possible.
The Salang highway connects central capital Kabul with nine northern provinces.
Afghan security officials say at least 28 Afghan forces have been killed and wounded in Balkh and Kunduz provinces.
The spokesman of Balkh Police, Adel Shah Adel told Reporterly that the Taliban group attacked a security forces’ outpost in Balkh district at around 22:00p.m. on Tuesday night.
According to Adel, at least eight security forces were killed and wounded in the attack, but the outpost is now under the control of security forces.
In the meantime, a provincial member of Kunduz, Safiullah Amiri told Repoterly that the Taliban insurgents stormed three outposts of the security forces in Dasht-e Archi district which as a result, 14 security forces have been killed.
Amiri noted that at least six other security forces were wounded in the incident.
He further added that the reinforcement have arrived to the area.
Afghan security officials in the northeastern zone of the country say at least four security forces have been killed and wounded in the Takhar province.
The Pamir 217 Corps in a press release on Wednesday said that at least two army forces were killed in a Taliban’s attack in “Qara Daka” area of Darqad district on Tuesday night.
According to the press release, one Police soldier and one army soldier were also wounded during the clashes.
In the meantime, the Taliban group has claimed responsibility for the incident and claimed that at least 16 Afghan security forces have been killed in the clashes.
The commander of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission and United States Forces in Afghanistan, General Scott Miller, Afghan Acting Interior Minister, Masoud Andarabi, the acting chief of National Directorate Security (NDS), Zia Saraj and the first deputy of Defense Minister, Yasin Zia have visited the Farah province.
The Ministry of Defense (MoD) in a statement said the Afghan and NATO senior officials have visited the Farah province to evaluate the security situation of the province.
According to the statement, the officials met with the governor and security officials of Farah and discussed issues for the betterment of the security situation of the province.
MoD added that Afghan security forces have recently carried out a special operation under the name of ‘Bakhtawar’ for suppressing the Taliban insurgents in the province.
The Ministry of Interior (MoI) says at least three civilians have been killed in a roadside bomb blast in Farah province.
The spokesman of MoI, Nasrat Rahimi has said that an anti-vehicle IED which was placed in Pul-e Jadid area, the center of Farah city went off at around 15:10p.m. (local time) on Tuesday.
“The blast hit a Mazda type vehicle which as a result, three civilians were wounded,” Rahimi said.
This comes as the roadside bombs claim the highest civilian casualties in Afghanistan.
An international affairs analyst said Herat- Mashad Railway finalization will help Afghanistan free itself from land fence next year.
Afghanistan was never a colony and only needed to be identified in terms of foreign relations, said Ja’far Haqpanah at a specialized meeting on “Centennial Relations between Iran and Afghanistan in the Light of Regional Developments” at Tehran University’s School of Political Science.
In King Amanullah’s government, the relations between the two countries were improved.
Haqpanah added that some of the common security challenges could be the basis for cooperation. “We have environmental, security, and terrorist discussions that are the same threat to both countries. We now have the chance that the regional element facilitates regional relations,” he added.