Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Afghan local officials have said that seven people were killed and five wounded in a bomb blast that was planted in a school in Kot district in Nangarhar province.
The Nangarhar’s governor office in a statement said that as a result of an emplaced bomb in a school in Metrano area, two employees were killed and five others of them were wounded.
The statement added that the wounded were transferred to the hospital; two of them to Kot district’s hospital and three others of them to Jalalabad city’s hospital.
Nangarhar is among the insecure provinces of the country which the Islamic State group has widespread activities in the province.
The Ministry of Interior (MoI) says a number of criminal networks enter Kabul with the darkly-tinted vehicles from other provinces.
The acting Interior Minister, Masoud Andarabi in the Ministerial Council session emphasized on removing the black tapes from vehicles.
This comes as the Kabul police have recently launched a new serious crackdown on unregistered and black tinted vehicles in the city.
The Interior Minister added that the security forces have inflicted a major blow on Taliban which their leadership lost control over organizing their fighters.
A total of ten militants including a Taliban shadow district chief have been killed in Jawzjan province, local officials said.
The spokesman of Jawzjan governor, Abdul Marouf Qarqin told Reporterly that the Taliban militants stormed the Moradiyan district to capture the building of the district.
Qarqin noted that the clashes continued up to 05:00am in the morning and Taliban fled the area after killing of ten of his fighters and wounding of ten others.
He stated that the Taliban shadow district chief for Qarqin district, Mullah Jora is also among the killed.
He further added that Afghan security forces had no casualties.
The Ministry of Energy & Water has issued a tender for a 40 MW solar project at an unspecified location in Herat province.
Az per the PV magazine report, the project will be developed under the World Bank’s Scaling Solar initiative with the backing of the multilateral lender’s private finance arm the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
The plant will be built on a public-private partnership basis with the selected developer securing the right to develop, finance, construct, own, operate, maintain and transfer the facility, the Afghan government stated in the tender document.
The project is part of the country’s plan to deploy 500 MW of solar generation capacity by next year.
The Ministry of Energy & Water issued a series of tenders for hybrid solar plants last year. The last, in June, was for a 5 MW facility and those plants followed tenders for three hybrid solar projects – with a total capacity of 65 MW – in September 2017. The earlier three projects, together with the 5 MW hybrid project in Ghor, are part of a plan approved by Afghanistan’s High Economic Council in March 2017 to deploy 65 MW of hybrid projects.
Afghanistan’s renewable energy policy aims for 4-5 GW of new generation capacity by 2030.
At least seven civilians were killed and wounded in Pakistan’s rocket attacks on eastern Kunar province, local officials said.
The spokesman of Kunar governor, Abdul Ghani Mosamem told Reporterly, “Clashes erupted between Afghan border forces and Pakistani military in Nara district at around 16:00PM on Sunday.”
He noted that the clashes started after Pakistani forces attempted to take illegal measures.
“At least three women were killed and four others including a child were wounded in the clashes,” he added.
Mosamem declared that the Afghan security forces had no casualties but the situation is alarming for today.
Pakistan and Afghanistan share a nearly 2,600-kilometer largely porous border.
Afghanistan has long accused Pakistan of sheltering and helping Taliban insurgents, charges Pakistani officials deny.
Turkey has always played a constructive and key role in NATO’s Afghanistan mission since 2003, the alliance’s senior representative to Kabul, Sir Nicholas Kay, said in an interview with Hürriyet Daily News at the NATO headquarters in Brussels.
Kay has served as the U.K. ambassador to Afghanistan from 2017-2018 before being appointed as NATO’s senior civilian representative to Afghanistan.
“NATO, thanks to countries like Turkey -who made and still make a great contribution to the mission, we can see that Afghanistan’s security forces are ever more capable then they were in 2003,” Kay said.
Nicholas Kay emphasized that NATO need to be ready as conditions change in Afghanistan.
“NATO will also have to be ready to adapt to the changed conditions. NATO does not want to be there forever, but at the same time, we’re not in a rush to leave. We will leave when the conditions are right,” he added.
He further added that Turkey’s role is very key which provides the training, advice and assistance command for the capital, Kabul and it also has a great role in helping the Afghan security forces secure Kabul, allowing the whole of the international community to operate, including such important facilities as the international airport in Kabul.
The World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed a new humanitarian contribution of €898,200 from the European Union (EU) to help Afghan families hit-hard by last year’s drought rebuild their lives.
The contribution will allow WFP to assist 2,000 families in Afghanistan’s western province of Badghis – the epicenter of the worst drought in a decade– with monthly cash transfers distributed over a year, the WFP said in a statement.
The latest contribution brings the EU’s humanitarian funding for WFP’s operations in Afghanistan to US$1.4 million in 2019.
“Badghis is one of the worst drought-hit provinces and the aftershocks are still clearly visible,” said Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.
“Without further assistance, the most vulnerable families will not be able to restore their livelihoods and farms. This assistance will help them rebuild their lives.”
The New Zealand’s Chief of Defense has accepted that a three-year-old girl was likely killed during a 2010 New Zealand Special Forces (SAS) raid in Afghanistan.
Air Marshal Kevin Short grudgingly told the Operation Burnham inquiry on October 18 that it “appears” the girl, Fatima, was killed.
He agreed that the Defense Force (NZDF) did nothing for other civilians who may have been injured.
The niggardly and limited admission, which came near the end of the inquiry’s final public hearing, was the first by the NZDF, which has responded with hostility and blanket cover-ups to long-standing allegations surrounding the raid.
To an “audible gasp” from the inquiry’s public gallery, Short declared that “not all” civilian deaths were war crimes and claimed the NZDF only targeted armed fighters.
Although the defense chief maintained that it was “not proven” civilians were killed and injured during the raid, he confirmed under questioning that the NZDF had never looked for any evidence.
Short’s admission followed a statement to the inquiry by former National Party Defence Minister Wayne Mapp, who said that he knew of “possible” civilian deaths, but at the time decided not to tell then Prime Minister John Key or the public.
While minister in 2011, Mapp told media that an internal NZDF investigation had “proven false” any allegations of civilian deaths.
The Afghanistan Presidential Palace-ARG in reaction to the killing of the Islamic State (IS) leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi said his death is important for the reduction of terrorist attacks and the security of Afghanistan.
ARG in a press release on Sunday night said, the Afghan government welcomes the death of IS leader.
“Terrorism is an enemy of humanity and a threat to the security and stability of the region and the world. The killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, one of the most dangerous leaders of terrorist groups, is the biggest blow to the ISIS group,” the press release said.
“Afghanistan believes that the only way out of the challenge of terrorism is to combat this phenomenon together with the co-operation of all countries in the world,” the press release added.
US President Donald Trump said the fugitive leader of (IS) group killed himself during a US military operation in north-west Syria.
Speaking from the White House, Mr Trump said Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi detonated his suicide vest after fleeing into a tunnel, chased by US military dogs.
One S-300 anti-aircraft missile system has been deployed to Tajikistan for the first time, reports RBC news agency, citing its source close to the Russian Defense Ministry.
A second source close to the Russian Ministry confirmed the deployment of the missile system to the border with Afghanistan.
“This is the first S-300 missile system, which will be deployed on the border with Afghanistan, where the International Security Assistance Force operates,” said one of the sources, noting that in Central Asia, the S-300 is deployed only in Kazakhstan.
According to the source, the S-300 will be deployed in Tajikistan to provide air defense of the Russian 201st Military Base.
Earlier, the S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems and the Pantsir-S surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapon system were delivered from Russia to Serbia for the second phase of the Russian-Serbian air defense exercise Slavic Shield 2019, which is held on October 23-29.
The Russian Defense Ministry noted that the S-400 and Pantsir-S would participate in the military drills abroad for the first time.
Eight hypothermic Afghans were rescued from the back of a UK-bound refrigerated lorry this morning.
As per Mirror report, half of the group were children with two described as ‘tiny infants’ by an investigating source.
Two Romanian truckers have been arrested after the discovery of the migrants in Calais at roughly 5am.
The arrests were made as the men attempted to drive on to a ferry heading to England.
The arrests come after 39 bodies were found in a back of a similar refrigerated truck in the UK, and the driver was charged with multiple counts of manslaughter.
Commenting on the new incident in northern France, an investigating source said: “The Afghans in the back of the truck were suffering from mild hypothermia.
“It would have got far worse if they had remained in place, but they were taken to hospital in Calais for immediate treatment.
“The drivers are suspected of trying to smuggle the people to England. They are both of Romanian nationality, and are now in custody, and facing charges.
“It was British border force guards who discovered the migrants, and they called the French authorities to make the arrests.”
Prosecutors in Boulogne-sur-Mer, near Calais, confirmed the arrests, and said that the temperature inside the truck was around 7C.
They said judicial police were currently working on establishing the route of the lorry.
The identities of the lorry drivers and those on board have not been released.
Calais-Dover is a regular route for people smugglers, who charge up to £10,000 a head in the back of a lorry for would-be asylum seekers.