Newsfeed; Monday, March 30 2020

Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…


  • 30 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Apple Expanding App Store to 20 More Countries, Including Afghanistan

    Apple’s planning to make its app store available in more countries, pledging that developers will be able to sell their programs for the iPhone and iPad in 177 countries or regions by the end of the year.

    The announcement came Monday in part because Apple said developers need to fill out administrative forms on its site to price and mark their apps as available in the new countries by April 10 to be ready when the app store becomes available.

    Apple didn’t list the countries it’s expanding its app store to in its announcement Monday, but 9to5Mac said the new countries will include Afghanistan, Iraq, Morocco and Rwanda.

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  • 30 Mar 2020 Share this post

    25 New Cases of COVID-19 in Afghanistan: Number Rises to 166

    Afghan local health officials say at least 25 new cases of the coronavirus have been recorded in Herat province.

    Head of Herat Public Health department, Abdul Hakim Tamana cited that the 25 new cases include 17 men and 8 women.

    This comes as the total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Afghanistan reaches to 166.

  • 30 Mar 2020 Share this post

    TJCG Calls for Inclusion of Afghan War Victim Representative in Peace Negotiation Delegation

    The Transitional Justice Coordination Group (TJCG) has welcomed the creation of a negotiation delegation to address concerns and uncertainties in relation to the start of peace negotiations.

    The TJCG in a press release called on the Afghan government to include an Afghan war victim representative in the negotiation delegation.

    The TJCG is a coalition of 26 human rights and war victims’ organizations.

    “The creation of the negotiation delegation is an important step. Negotiations need to start as soon as possible. There needs to be an immediate cessation of hostilities. These hostilities are taking dozens, if not hundreds of Afghan lives on daily basis, and in the midst of a national and global health emergency,” the press release reads.

    TJCG stressed that the announcement of the negotiation delegation is an important step in the right direction at this critical time for Afghanistan.

    “The composition of the negotiation delegation is relatively representative, but it is glaringly missing the representation of victims of war,” the press release added.

  • 30 Mar 2020 Share this post

    US COVID-19 Response; Providing $5 Million in Assistance for Afghanistan to Fight Coronavirus

    The U.S. Government is leading the world’s humanitarian and health assistance response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    US embassy in Kabul in a press release said that the United States is providing to Afghanistan approximately $5 million in health and humanitarian assistance to support detection and treatment of COVID-19 for internally displaced persons (IDPs).

    “In addition, the United States has also redirected $10 million in existing resources to support of the United Nations (WHO) Emergency Response Plan for COVID-19,” the press release reads.

    It also added that the support will include surveillance, lab improvements, case management, infection prevention and control, community engagement, and technical assistance to Government of Afghanistan.

  • 30 Mar 2020 Share this post

    US COVID-19 Response; Providing $5 Million in Assistance for Afghanistan to Fight Coronavirus

    The U.S. Government is leading the world’s humanitarian and health assistance response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    US embassy in Kabul in a press release said that the United States is providing to Afghanistan approximately $5 million in health and humanitarian assistance to support detection and treatment of COVID-19 for internally displaced persons (IDPs).

    “In addition, the United States has also redirected $10 million in existing resources to support of the United Nations (WHO) Emergency Response Plan for COVID-19,” the press release reads.

    It also added that the support will include surveillance, lab improvements, case management, infection prevention and control, community engagement, and technical assistance to Government of Afghanistan.

  • 30 Mar 2020 Share this post

    9 Security Forces, 25 Taliban Insurgents Killed, Wounded in Baghlan Clashes

    Afghan security officials confirmed that at least nine security forces and 25 Taliban militants were killed in the clashes erupted on Sunday night in Baghlan province.

    “The armed opposition group launched complex attacks from different fronts on Sunday night which faced the resistance of Afghan security forces,” Ahmad Jawid Besharat, spokesman of Baghlan Police said.

    According to Besharat, at least 12 Taliban insurgents were killed and 13 others were wounded in the clashes.

    He noted that three top Taliban commanders identified as Qari Mustafa, Qari Nesar and Qari Musafer are among the killed.

    Besharat added that at least four local police officers were killed and five others were wounded in the incident

  • 30 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Afghanistan Seeks Funds to Fight COVID-19

    The Minister of Public Health, Firuzuddin Firuz says the number of coronavirus cases is rising in Afghanistan because the Ministry does not have access to the required budget to fight the pandemic.

    Mr. Firuz declared that the country needed $100 million while they only have $18 million.

    “We might need $100 million while right now we have $18 million and it is nothing,” said Feroz.

    As part of efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the government on Saturday announced a three-week lockdown in Kabul.

  • 30 Mar 2020 Share this post

    COVID-19: 29 Prisoners Released From Samangan Prison

    Afghan local officials say at least 29 prisoners have been released from Samangan prison for prevention of the coronavirus pandemic.

    The office of Samangan governor in a press release said that 29 prisoners were released from Samangan jail based on the Presidential decree for prevention of the coronavirus.

    According to the governor’s Office, currently there are 406 prisoners including 23 Women in Samangan jail which 29 of them released.

  • 30 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Afghan Students Will Get Access to Learning Materials Through Television Broadcasts

    With schools in Afghanistan remaining closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of Education (MoE) is scheduled to launch a national learning platform and will start broadcasting core school subjects on public TV and radio to help Afghan students keep learning even with classes suspended.

    “MoE came up with a Education in Emergencies COVID-19 Response Plan through which we will deliver education alternatively through Televisions and Radios to teach core subjects in different time frames. At the same time, comprehensive teacher packages will be sent to teachers to ensure they use the quarantine period to build their capacity,” said Mirwais Balkhi, the Minister of Education.

    “A thorough monitoring and supervision will be done to ensure students and teachers have used their time and resources in the most effective and efficient manner,” Balkhi added.

    As the coronavirus spreading rapidly across the country, the Afghan government has taken swift and decisive actions to mitigate the development of a full-blown pandemic.

    The move toward remote learning comes as schools have postponed for at least up to the next month until further notice.

  • 30 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Taliban Prisoners Will Not Be Released on March 31, NSC Says

    The Office of the National Security Council confirmed that the Afghan government will host the Taliban delegation in Bagram prison to discuss the release of prisoners.

    According to a statement released by Office of National Security Council, the Taliban group, being supported by Red Cross, is due to send its delegation to Kabul.

    The statement further added that the Afghan government will host the Taliban delegation in Bagram prison during which further negotiations would take place regarding the release of prisoners.

    Meanwhile, Javid Faisal, a spokesperson for the Office of the National Security Council said the release of prisoners has been briefly postponed.

    “There is no prisoner release happening tomorrow. Taliban agreed in the video conference yesterday to send a team to Kabul to hold further technical discussions with the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” Faisal said in a Twitter post.

    This comes as efforts are underway to release at least 5,000 Taliban prisoners from the Afghan jails following the signing of peace deal between the United States and Taliban.

  • 30 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Four Wounded in Kabul IED Blast

    The Ministry of Interior (MoI) confirmed that at least four people were wounded in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast in Kabul province.

    “A Hilux type vehicle hit an IED in Qazi Plaza area of PD9 in Kabul,” MoI said in a statement.

    MoI added that the wounded have been transferred hospital.

    No group has claimed responsibility for the incident.

  • 30 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Six Afghan Security Forces Killed in Zabul

    The Ministry of Defense (MoD) has confirmed that at least six security forces have been killed in Taliban’s attack in Zabul province.

    MoD in a statement said that the Taliban group attacked on security forces’ outposts in Arghandab District of Zabul province on Sunday night.

    The statement added that the Taliban insurgents have also suffered a heavy casualties but did not provide the exact figures.

  • 30 Mar 2020 Share this post

    COVID-19: 41 Prisoners Released From Farah Jail

    Afghan local officials say at least 41 Prisoners have been released from Farah jail due to the prevention of the coronavirus in the province.

    The office of Farah governor in a statement said that the prisoners released based on President Ghani’s decree.

    This comes as President Ghani has ordered the release of 10,000 prisoners in the country for the prevention of the coronavirus spread in the jails.

  • 30 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Salang Pass Closed to Cargo Trucks

    The protection and maintenance department of Salang Pass says the strategic Salang highway has been closed to Cargo Trucks following the heavy storms and bad weather.

    The department in a press release on Monday said that the weather in Northern Salang is
    cloudy and the snowfalls are sporadically underway.

    According to the department, the current situation may continue up to the next two night and advised the drivers to take the necessary measures.

  • 30 Mar 2020 Share this post

    COVID-19; Movements Restrictions Announced in Ghazni

    Afghan local officials say none-essential movements have been restricted in Ghazni province due to the prevention of Coronavirus.

    The office of Ghazni governor in a statement said the restrictions have been announced based on the decision of the provincial Committee of preventing COVID-19.

    The statement added that the representatives of the Public Health department will work alongside the Police forces to address the implementation of the restrictions.

  • 30 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Coronavirus Has Killed More in US Than The War in Afghanistan

    The number of people killed by the novel coronavirus in the United States has exceeded U.S. casualties incurred throughout the conflict in Afghanistan, the longest war in U.S. history.

    COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. reached 2,479 on Sunday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, surpassing the 2,445 casualties recorded among Pentagon personnel and civilians as a result of the U.S.-led military intervention in Afghanistan and related missions between October 7, 2001 and March 23 of this year.

    As US President Donald Trump battles what has become the world’s largest known coronavirus outbreak at home, his administration has also sought to ensure a historic peace process in Afghanistan, where warring sides have struggled to conduct talks amid ongoing unrest and a pandemic.

    The Kabul government and the insurgent Taliban movement were set to hold their first intra-Afghan dialogue Saturday, but the Taliban backed out, arguing the government team “violates our principled policy and the agreement concluded with America” on February 29.

  • 30 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Taliban Launch Awareness Campaign on Coronavirus

    The Taliban has launched an awareness campaign on COVID-19 in Logar province in the east of Afghanistan, 76 kilometers to the east of Kabul.

    Media reports said in Baraki Barak district clashes were occurring in one part of the district and a health awareness campaign was underway in another.

    “We welcome that the Taliban has initiated a committee for fighting the coronavirus,” said Wahidullah Mayar, a spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health. So far, 145 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Afghanistan, according to the Public Health Ministry.