Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Afghan local officials say at least six Taliban militants were killed in an airstrike on a Taliban’s extortion position in Faryab province yesterday.
The spokesman of Shahin 209 Corps, Hanif Rezai said that the airstrike was conducted in Char Shanghoy village of Dawlat Abad district.
Rezai added that at least five more Taliban militants were wounded in the airstrike.
The Civilians Protection Working Group (CPWG) in Herat province has expressed deep concern about civilian casualties in the country.
CPWG in a press conference has read out a statement, expressing concern that a large number of civilians had been killed during the recent conflict in the country.
The group, which is an independent and impartial observer of war standards and international humanitarian law, called the current situation alarming that has been followed by an escalation of clashes in residential areas of Herat.
Members of the group are concerned about the poor condition of civilians in the war zones, who say all military operations by the warring parties, especially the Taliban, are taking place in residential and civilian areas.
The Civilian Protection Working Group called on the parties involved in the war, particularly Taliban for reduction of violence by issuing a 6-article resolution.
Karima Hamid Faryabi, the Minister of Economy says the poverty rate in Afghanistan’s cities has risen by 4 percent.
Ms. Faryabi, who briefed the nation on the one-year activities of the Ministry of Economy on Sunday, said the outbreak of the Coronavirus and the imposition of travel restrictions were the main reasons for the increase in poverty rate.
According to her, the Afghan government has made poverty reduction a priority.
Recently, Save the Children released a report stating that about half of Afghanistan’s population is in need of humanitarian assistance.
The report, released on Tuesday, last week, said that 18.4 million people in Afghanistan, including 9.7 million children, were in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
Save the Children has called for $ 3 billion in aid to address the situation in 2021.
“Afghan citizens are suffering from war, violence, poverty and the crisis caused by the coronavirus,” said Chris Neyamandi, the country director of Afghanistan at Save the Children.
Earlier, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that by 2021, some 18.4 million people in Afghanistan would be in need of humanitarian assistance.
According to OCHA, the number of needy people in Afghanistan will increase in 2021 compared to four years ago.
However, the Afghan government recently launched a program called the “Destarkhan-e Mili” to help more than 4 million families at a cost of more than $ 244 million.
During the program, food aids are provided to families affected by the outbreak of the Corona virus.
Afghan security officials have said that at least six security forces were wounded in Taliban’s attacks in Balkh province on Sunday.
The Shahin 209 Corps in a statement said that the Taliban militants attacked security outposts in Khakbad and Naqlin areas at around 04:40am today.
According to the statement, the clashes continued less than a hour and at least five Taliban militants were killed and two more were wounded in the clashes.
Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Mirwais Nab has met the Indian Ambassador to Kabul Rudrendra Tandon and had a wide-ranging discussion on the Afghan peace process and economic cooperation today.
MoFA in a press release said that the Deputy and Acting Foreign Minister congratulated India for successful rollout of COVID-19 vaccine.
According to the press release, the Indian Ambassador assured Mr. Nab that Afghanistan is high on the list of countries to receive the vaccine.
Discussing the Afghan peace, Minister Nab touched on the importance of the ceasefire in the second round of Afghan peace talks in Doha.
“The two sides deliberated on development projects and economic cooperation, especially the Shahtoot Dam.
Ambassador Rudrendra Tandon assured Deputy and Acting Minister Nab of the Indian government’s continued commitment to supporting Afghan peace and economic development,” the press release added.
In reaction to the Pakistani Foreign Minister’s remarks, the Afghan Ministry of Foriegn Affairs (MoFA) said it expects the Pakistani government and all Afghan international partners to compel the Taliban to fulfill their commitments to reduce violence, establish a nationwide ceasefire and cut ties with the terrorist groups.
MoFA in a statement has stated that Afghanistan believes that a regional and international consensus is needed to achieve lasting peace, as well as the efforts of all parties to “sincerely” support the Afghan peace process.
According to the statement, the Foreign Ministry expects the parties involved in the peace process to fulfill their commitments to achieve peace.
MoFA stressed that Afghanistan had taken the most important steps to build trust and pave the way for a comprehensive political agreement by releasing more than 6,000 Taliban prisoners, declaring readiness for immediate and nationwide ceasefires, and participating in the peace talks.
MoFA noted that the Taliban not only failed to meet their commitments to reduce violence and go on a nationwide ceasefire, but also increased unprecedented violence.
According to the statement, the Taliban have created new challenges in the path to negotiations and lasting peace by carrying out targeted killings.
The remarks came as Pakistani Foreign Minister Shammood Qureshi called on the new US administration to adhere to a peace agreement with the Taliban in the latest reaction to the peace talks.
Qureshi made the remarks in an interview with Al-Jazeera, calling the talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban a major achievement and stressing that Pakistan had played a major role in the talks.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Sunday reported 77 new positive cases of coronavirus out of 1593 samples tested in the last 24 hours.
The ministry also reported 8 deaths and 355 recoveries from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
The cumulative number of total cases is now 54,672 the number of total reported deaths is 2,386 and the total number of recoveries is 47,298.
The new cases were reported in Kabul, Herat, Nangarhar, Kandahar, Takhar, Paktia, Baghlan, Badakhshan, Laghman, Kunar, Faryab, Helmand, Jawozjan, Uruzgan and Norstan provinces.
At least three people have been injured in two bomb blasts in eastern Nangarhar province today, officials say.
Atallah Khogyani, the spokesman Nangarhar governor, said that two IEDs detonated in the Chaparhar area of PD4 in Jalalabad at around 08:00am on Sunday which wounded at least three civilians.
No group has claimed responsibility for the blasts.
The Ministry of Defense (MoD) says at least 38 Taliban militants have been killed during Afghan National Army (ANA) operations in Kandahar province.
MoD in a statement on Sunday said that the operations were conducted in Arghandab district on Saturday.
According to the statement, five Taliban’s hideouts, two strongholds, and a large amount of their weapons were destroyed in the operations.
The statement added that 17 IEDs which were planted on public roads discovered and defused during the operations.
Afghanistan Central Bank announced that the head of bank’s dispute resolution department along with his driver were wounded, and one of his bodyguards was killed in an IED blast in Kabul city this morning.
The Central Bank in a statement said that the incident happened in Shah Shaheed area of PD8 in Kabul city at around 08:12am on Sunday when the vehicle of Abdullah Durani an official of the bank hit and IED.
Earlier, Kabul Police said that three people were wounded in the blast without providing further details.
No group has claimed responsibility for the incident so far.
A British Army medic battling to save Covid-19 patients in a UK hospital says it is tougher than war-torn Afghanistan.
As per Mirror report, the UK army Major said that the relentless pressure in overwhelmed hospitals is more intense than treating the wounded from battlefields in Helmand Province.
The officer, who served in Afghanistan in 2010, is at a hospital in the Midlands where critical care is currently running at 80% over capacity.
He said: “This second wave has pushed everyone to their limit. I would say most of the medical staff are physically and mentally exhausted.
“You come into work tired, hoping that today will be the day when the number of patients coming in will start to slow – but it never does.
“You’re left wondering how much longer you can continue. By comparison, Afghanistan was far easier than dealing with Covid,” he added.
At least three people were wounded in an IED blast in Kabul city this morning, Police confirmed.
The spokesman of Kabul Police, Ferdaws Faramarz said a Land Cruiser type vehicle targeted by an IED blast in Shah Shahid area of PD8 at around 08:12am on Sunday.
Police did not provide more details about the incident, but eyewitnesses claimed that the blast targeted a government’s vehicle.