Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The National Directorate of Security (NDS) said they had killed Assadullah Orakzai, head of intelligence for Islamic State in Khorasan Province (IS-K), on Saturday.
“The Special Units of the National Directorate of Security have eliminated Zia-ur-Rahman, known as Assadullah Orakzai, General Intelligence Officer of the IS-K, and a native of Akhel Orakzai agency of Pakistan, during a targeted operation,” the NDS tweeted on late Saturday night.
The Nangarhar governor’s office also announced the death and said the operation took place at around 6pm on Saturday, near Jalalabad, the provincial capital.
According to the NDS, Orakzai was involved in plotting deadly attacks on a number of military and civilian targets in Afghanistan.
The NDS in the statement assured Afghanistan’s partners that it will uproot terrorists anywhere.
“Afghanistan’s regional and international partners should remember that Afghanistan is a key player in the fight against terrorist and will crush terrorists’ roots anywhere,” the NDS said.
The Afghan security forces have been actively combatting IS-K and this has led to major territorial losses for the group in the past year.
The Ministry of Interior (MoI) confirmed that an explosion took place in Nangarhar’s Jalalabad city on Sunday evening.
MoI spokesperson Tariq Arian said that the explosion took place at around 6:45 pm today and more details are to come.
Initial reports by local journalists indicate that the explosion took place in the fourth district of Jalalabad, near the main prison.
A suicide attacker detonated his car bomb blowing up the prison entrance gate, allowing other attackers to get inside.
Nangarhar provincial council members reported of the ensuing gun battle with police resisting the attackers.
Initial reports indicate at least 10 people were wounded and taken to the Jalalabad Regional Hospital.
The powerful explosion also shattered glasses and windows in homes.
No further details about casualties or the perpetrators is available yet.
Hundreds of buildings were destroyed partially and some completely, in devastating floods in the city of Charikar, the provincial capital of Parwan.
Wahida Shahkar, spokesperson for the provincial governor said that heavy rainfall last night, followed by sleet, caused the damage.
She said around 300 buildings were partially destroyed, and another 25 houses were completely destroyed.
However, the floods did not cause any casualties.
Parts of the Kabul highway in the province were flooded, but have now been reopened, Shahkar said.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said that in the past 24 hours, only one case of Coronavirus tested positive from 19 samples that were tested.
The ministry also reported that one person died in the past day.
The number of total cases is now 36,710, with 1,284 deaths, 25,509 recoveries.
MoPH officials said that despite warnings, Eid was widely celebrated in public places, contrary to health regulations.
“A lower number of people have come for testing during Eid days,” the officials said, explaining the decrease in cases at the moment.
The government has collected more than 2.2 billion AFN from the 10% telecom tax imposed on mobile phone subscribers since the beginning of 2020.
The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) said the information came from the Real-Time Data Management System which monitors the collection of taxes for telecom services.
“We managed to collect more than 2.2 billion AFN since the beginning of 2020 and handed it over to the government treasury,” said Abdul Samad Hamid Poya, a spokesperson for the MCIT.
Poya blamed telecom companies for not being transparent on the exact number of active SIM cards and affecting the data collection.
The Real-Time Data Management System was established last year by the MCIT to ensure transparency in the collection of tax across the country.
Days after the foreign ministers of Afghanistan, China, Nepal and Pakistan met virtually to discuss strengthening their cooperation on COVID-19, Nepalese Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali dismissed the idea of creating a sub-regional quadrilateral grouping.
Gyawali said, “Virtual conference of four countries was totally focused on the cooperation amidst the COVID-19. It is unnecessary and wrong to create any other type of coordination between those countries. Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan are members of SAARC [South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation] and China is an observer of the SAARC, we are already in a single umbrella.”
Gyawali rejected the idea of any plan to create an alliance. “There is no possibility, desire or plan to create another sub-regional alliance or organisation comprising of those four countries. It was purely confined on cooperation on COVID-19 pandemic,” he emphasised.