Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Afghan National and Defense Security Forces (ANDSF) have cleared the suburbs of Taloqan city from Taliban group and started clearing operations in Khwaja Ghar and Baharak districts, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said on Wednesday.
MoD stated that ANDSF have intensified their operations in the Bahark and Khwaja Ghar districts of Takhar province.
The ministry further said that commando forces have been sent to Takhar and they are conducting clearance operations.
The ministry added that Taliban insurgents have suffered causalities but did not comment about the number of causalities.
At least 150 security forces have been surrounded by Taliban group in Jawzjan province, local officials said.
Speaking to Reporterly on Wednesday, provincial council member, Abdulhay Hayat said, “Taliban group attacked on Darzab district three nights ago and took the control of the district.”
After the fall of the district, security forces suffered casualties and they sought refuge in the Dahshaka and Antan outposts, Hayat said.
Ministry of Interior (MoI) Special Forces have been deployed in Darzab following the collapse of the district and they took the control of the district but the forces who had gone to security outposts couldn’t go back to the district center due to Taliban ambush.
He said a personnel of Special Forces has been killed and the forces have left the district.
The provincial council member stated that security forces surrounded by Taliban are around 150 including Afghan National Army, National Police, and Public Order Police.
He added that one of the security personnel is severely injured.
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) said that 600,000 children suffer from malnutrition in Afghanistan.
UNICEF in a statement on Wednesday said that in Afghanistan there are 2 million children suffering from acute malnutrition, 600,000 of them are suffering from it most severe form.
This organization said that it is in need of $20 million to help these children to survive and thrive.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has said that 16 children have been permanently paralyzed by polio since beginning of 2019 in the country.
OCHA added that the polio vaccination campaign will begin soon and all children in Afghanistan, especially in the western, central and southeastern areas, should be vaccinated.
Presidential candidate, Gullbuddin Hekmatyar says if Independent Election Commission (IEC) counts biometric verified votes, he will accept the result of election and congratulate the winner.
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Hekmaryar said that IEC must separate the fraudulent votes from the true votes.
The turnout was low and most of the votes casted in the second half of the Election Day were fraudulent, Hekmatyar noted.
According to Hekmatyar, out of a population of 34 million only about 2 million people were able to vote.
He said that only government officials voted in the Zurmat district of Paktia province, not even a single resident of the district participated.
“Both, State-Builder and Stability and Partnership Electoral Teams offered me key posts in the government, but I rejected them,” Hekmatyar added.
Hekmatyar also blamed NUG leaders for fraud and misuse of government facilities in the presidential election, and for depriving migrants and displaced people from participating in the election.
This comes as IEC and Abdullah Abdullah emphasized only on count of biometric verified votes.
The Presidential candidate, Faramarz Tamana has said that pure votes must be separated from foul ballots and even a single non-biometric vote will be acceptable.
Speaking to a press conference on Wednesday, Tamana said, “We thank all those who voted for him in the election and also the security forces for providing the security on Election Day.”
Tamana criticized the media for not providing more opportunities for debate between the Presidential candidates, wanted more opportunities to share ideas and programs with public.
Faramarz Tamana called for announcement of election results as soon as possible.
Based on estimation, election calendar had predicted 9 million turnout for election, but only about two million voters have participated in the presidential election, the results of the election must be announced sooner than anticipated.
He added that he will accept transparent election results if major fraud does not change the outcome.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) officials have called on Presidential candidates to ask their supports to not talk irresponsibly and act according to the election principles.
Addressing a news conference on Wednesday, IEC commissioner Maulana Abdullah said, “Election Commission is the only source to decide on votes and announce the results of elections.”
Mawlana stated that biometric votes will be separated from non-biometric votes.
The votes without biometric verification are unacceptable and ballots which are used before and after election time are invalid, he said.
Mawlana added that the ballot boxes of two provinces have arrived in Kabul and the remaining ones from other provinces are expected to reach up to the next Saturday.
This comes the chairman of Senate Fazel Hadi Muslimyar has stressed that the non-biometric votes should be counted or else the IEC will be forced to count them.
The Presidential spokesperson, Sediq Seddiqi has said that no progress will be imminent if a peace process is not owned and led by the Afghan government.
Sediqqi in a tweet on Wednesday said, “Peace is our priority. A peace process led and owned by the Afghan government will only lead to lasting and dignified peace in Afghanistan.”
Sediqqi also emphasized that peace is one of the major demands of the Afghan people.
This comes as the Taliban group and the United States Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad have travelled to Islamabad, Pakistan for meetings on Afghan Peace talks.
At least six civilians have been killed in a roadside bomb blast in Kapisa province, security officials confirmed.
The Ministry of Interior (MoI) spokesperson Nasrat Rahimi said that the incident took place Tuesday at around 4:20 PM in Baizkhel Afghania village, Najrab district of Kapisa.
As a result of the explosion, 6 civilians were killed including 2 boys, 2 girls and 2 women and 2 others injured including a woman, Rahimi noted.
MoI added that the mine was embedded by Taliban group.
Roadside mines have always caused the highest civilian casualties.
Afghan government Chief Executive and presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah says the “Stability and Partnership” electoral team is examining all irregularities and stresses on the decision of the Independent Election Commission (IEC).
“While we examine any and all irregularities, my team joins me to stress that based on IEC’s decision, any vote – cast only between 7 am and 5 pm on Election Day – that has not been registered via the biometric system is void and null,” Abdullah posted in his tweeter account.
Abdullah declared that his team decided not to give credit to non-biometric votes to ensure the credibility and transparency of the elections.
“Thus, the final turnout figure can only be determined and finalized on the basis of votes that have gone through the biometric system, not according to result-sheet data”, he said. “Any other data that includes non-biometric figures distort the real count and will not be acceptable.”
The camps for the top rivals in election, the Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah claimed victory after the first round of voting on Saturday, even though official counting is still under way.
“We have the most votes in this election,” Abdullah said at a news conference on Monday, without offering evidence.
“The results will be announced by the IEC, but we have the most votes. The election is not going to go to a second round.”
Abdullah, who is seeking the presidency for the third time after losing in 2009 and 2014, said his team would “make the new government”.