Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The deaths of 16 additional patients in the past 24 hours, has pushed Afghanistan’s Coronavirus-related fatalities to 1,010, the Ministry of Public Health said.
The editor-in-chief of Islah newspaper, Dad Mohammad Onabi also succumbed to the disease, reported NAI, an organisation supporting open media in Afghanistan.
The ministry announced that 85 new cases of COVID-19 were detected in the past day from 378 samples tested nationwide. Afghanistan has confirmed 34,451 Coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic.
Positive cases were reported in Bamyan (20), Herat (18), Kabul (14), Takhar (10), Badakhshan (8), Balkh (5), Nangarhar (4), Kunduz (3) and one each in the Wardak, Laghman and Kunar.
There were 81 people who recovered in the past 24 hours, taking that tally to 21,216.
The Afghan government has decided to build a civilian airport outside Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province, the Civil Aviation Authority announced.
Qasim Wafayzada, head of the Afghan Civil Aviation Authority said, the airport would be constructed on 3,500 acres of land in the Kuz Kunar (Khewa) area at a cost of $40 million.
Construction on the project will take two years.
The ground breaking ceremony of the airport was held on Friday where the foundation stone was also laid.
Nangarhar also has a military airport in Jalalabad city.
The British Foreign Offices issued an advisory making it compulsory for all flyers from Afghanistan to present a COVID-19 negative certificate on landing.
International flights from Kabul resumed in June with Emirates and Fly Dubai departing for the U.K.
The U.K. government said that from July 10 onwards, all passengers coming from Kabul must be able to provide a negative COVID-19 test which should have been issued no more than 96 hours before the flight’s departure.
Passengers returning to the U.K. will also have to self-isolate for 14 days and were advised to keep checking for updated screening requirements.
The 203rd Thunder Corps announced that at least eight Taliban were killed and two more injured when they attacked security checkpoints in Ghazni’s Mangor area of the provincial capital and the Qarbagh district.
The security forces were able to fend off a Taliban attack near Ghazni city on Saturday, with the help of air support.
At least five Taliban were killed and two more injured, while a few motorbikes and a car were seized from the group.
Three Taliban members were killed when they attacked the security forces in Qarabagh district.
Ammunitions and bullets were also recovered.
The Taliban is yet to comment on the attacks.
At least six civilians were killed and eight more wounded in a roadside explosion in the Dara-e-Qiad area of Ghazni’s Jaghatu district on Saturday.
Wahidullah Jumazada, spokesperson for the provincial governor, said the explosion happened when the civilian vehicle struck a roadside bomb.
The casualties include women and children.
No group has taken responsibility for the attack.
In another incident in Wardak province’s Sayedabad district, three members of a family, a man and his two sons, were killed when a mortar round hit their house in Sultankhel village on Saturday.
Mohibullah Sharifzai, spokesperson for the Wardak governor, said a probe has been called to investigate who fired the mortar.
Four security forces were killed and two injured in a Taliban attack on a security checkpoint in Pato district of Daykundi province on early Sunday morning.
Abbas Kamyar, spokesperson for Daykundi governor, said Taliban attacked a security checkpoint in Ziarat area at around 1 am on Sunday.
Taliban also lost 12 members during the attack which continued for four hours and suffered “heavy casualties” Kamyar said.
The Taliban has yet to comment on the attack.
Macedonia has quarantined nationals returning from Afghanistan after some of them tested positive for COVID-19, the Health Ministry said on Saturday.
“Tonight, they will be under quarantine to protect the safety of the citizens after consulting with the Commission for Infectious Diseases and the State Health Inspectorate,” the ministry said.
An epidemiologist will check on them on Sunday to decide what will be done next.