Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The Office of the National Security Council (NSC) said that 46 civilians were killed and 93 wounded in Taliban attacks in the past week.
In their weekly statistics released on Saturday, the NSC tweeted that Taliban carried out 401 movements and attacks in the past week, across 23 provinces.
“The Taliban have been completely indifferent to the Afghan people and their commitments, inflicting heavy casualties,” the tweet said.
The province of Helmand saw the most civilian casualties with 10 killed and six wounded, followed by Badghis with four killed and Ghor with four killed and three wounded. Baghlan had 12 injured and Ghazni province has 10 injured.
The NSC has said that targeting civilians violates all human, religious, moral and military norms.
Clashes between the security forces and the Taliban over a lapis lazuli mine in the Kuran Wa Munjan district of Badakhshan province continued for the third day on Saturday.
Badakhshan police spokesperson Sanaullah Rohani said that the Taliban had attacked the mine first.
Reinforcements had been sent to the area and the clashes had continued, with casualties reported on both sides.
Rohani said that information on the conflict was limited due to telecommunication networks not working properly in the district.
He said that the Taliban wanted to seize the mine but were prevented by the security forces. With the back-up forces reaching soon, the situation may change in favour of the government forces.
The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA)said that the bodies of 12 migrants who drowned in Turkey’s Lake Van, will be transferred to Kabul on Saturday.
Hamid Tahzeeb, deputy spokesperson for the MFA, said that seven bodies of the drowning accident had been transferred from Turkey to Kabul, so far.
He added that the bodies of five other Afghan citizens had been buried in Turkey with their family’s consent.
The process of transferring the bodies from Turkey to Kabul is being carried out by Kam Air and Ariana airlines.
Tahzeeb said that 59 bodies have been recovered so far from the refugee boat that sank in Lake Van in June. Among the bodies, 30 are Afghan nationals, including several children.
He also urged citizens to not contact human smugglers due to the danger posed by illegal crossings.
Afghanistan has confirmed 36,036 cases of Coronavirus so far, with 48 cases testing positive in the past 24 hours.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said that the government laboratories tested 196 samples across three provinces, of which 35 were positive in Kabul, seven in Ghazni and six in Balkh province.
Kabul, Herat, Balkh and Nangarhar have the highest reported cases of COVID-19 and Sar-i-Pul has no active cases according to the government’s dashboard.
According to the MoPH, in the past day, 220 people have recovered while 22 people have succumbed to the virus.
There are almost 10,000 active cases in the country with 24,793 recovered and 1,247 deaths reported.
MoPH data also shows that the number of COVID-19 patients in specialized wards had decreased, showing lower infection rated.
However, some citizens and activists have said that poor health services are to blame for their hesitance to visit hospitals.
Acting Foreign Minister Haneef Atmar spoke to Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Friday.
Atmar called the Saudi government a friend and supporter of the people and government of Afghanistan.
Saudi’s assistance and cooperation and willingness to build schools in Afghanistan, along with Riyadh’s support for the peace process, was appreciated by Afghans, Atmar expressed.
Atmar also enquired about the health of King Salman who had undergone a successful surgery to have his gallbladder removed on Thursday.
Al-Jubeir thanked Atmar for inquiring about the King Salman’s health and stressed the importance of joint cooperation between the two countries in various fields,.
He emphasized Riyadh’s continued support for Afghanistan in various fields, especially the peace process.
He stated that Saudi Arabia will not withhold any assistance and cooperation for the Afghans to achieve lasting peace.
The Ministry of Defence said a Taliban militants suffered heavy casualties during clashes with the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) in Khost and Takhar on Friday.
A Taliban attack on army positions in the Dowa Mendi and Sur Kali areas in Musa Khel district of Khost province was intercepted by the ANDSF, who were supported by the air force.
The 203rd Thunder Corps said at least 18 Taliban were killed, including military commanders such as Shamsullah Shahin, Qiyamuddin Ahmadi, Jannattullah, and Ahmad Rasul.
Another 11 Taliban members were wounded during the operations.
The militants had been trying to plant mines to destroy the road connecting Musa Khel to the provincial capital.
The ANDSF seized a Toyota Pick Up, a mortar bomb, an M2 machine gun, and a vehicle-borne Improvised Explosive Device, and successfully defused the bombs.
In Takhar province, Taliban had prepared to attack ANDSF positions in the Baharak district, last night.
The ANDSF intercepted this attack and 9 Taliban fighters were killed and 3 others, including a commander, were wounded.
The Taliban is yet to comment on the incident.
Ghor officials said three Afghan security forces were killed and four policemen were wounded in a Taliban attack on a security checkpoint near Firoz Koh (Chaghcharan), the provincial capital, on Saturday.
Aref Aber, spokesperson for Ghor governor, said that the attack took place at around 12 am in the Kharestan area, west of Feroz Koh city, and continued for around two hours.
Taliban fighters were also killed during the clashes, but no figures were given.
The Taliban have not yet commented.
Faryab Governor Naqibullah Faiq said the Taliban have fired dozens of mortar shells on the Shirin Tagab market in the province and directly targeted civilians on Friday evening.
In a tweet, Faiq said that the mortar shells which had been fired from a Taliban-controlled area, had injured 12 civilians who were on their way home from Friday prayers.
Faid wrote in his tweet, “These days, the Taliban are targeting civilians without the slightest precaution.”
According to the governor, the names of some of the injured were Hedayat, Masoom, Firooz, Khair Mohammad, Khal Mohammad, Javid, Mohammad Nader and Lotfollah.
Laghman officials said two Afghan Local Police were killed in an explosion in Mehtarlam, the provincial capital on Friday.
Asadullah Dawlatzai, spokesperson for the Laghman governor said on Saturday, that the blast in the Camp Babab Sahib area also injured another local police and two civilians.
The bomber struck shortly after noon in front of a police recruiting centre and the explosives were place in a rickshaw.
No group has taken responsibility for the blast yet.