Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
“Iran will defend itself against any military or economic aggression”, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday, calling on European states to do more to preserve a nuclear agreement his country signed.
Speaking in a news conference in Baghdad with his Iraqi counterpart Mohammed al-Hakim, Zarif said his country wanted to build balanced relations with its Gulf Arab neighbours and that it had proposed signing a non-aggression pact with them.
“We will defend against any war efforts against Iran, whether it be an economic war or a military one, and we will face these efforts with strength,” he said.
Strains have increased between Iran and the United States, which is a firm backer of Tehran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia, after this month’s attack on oil tankers in the Gulf region that Washington has blamed on Iran.
“We are saying very clearly and honestly that we oppose the unilateral actions taken by the United States. We stand with the Islamic Republic of Iran in its position,” said Hakim. The United States and Iran are Iraq’s two main allies.
The Interior Ministry has announced that two individuals were arrested in connection with assassination of journalist Mina Mangal, who was recently killed in Kabul.
Interior Ministry spokesman Nusrat Rahimi said on Sunday that these two persons were detained as a result of two separate operations of police personnel.
In initial investigation, the detainees confessed in involvement to the mudar and Mina Mangal’s relatives also have direct claims on these two individuals, Mr. Rahimi added.
Mina Mangal, a consultant to the House of Representatives Cultural Commission and former TV presenter was killed by unidentified gunmen in PD6 of Kabul city on the morning of 11 May.
Presidential Spokesman Haroon Chakhansuri addressed a press conference regarding “sexual favors” charge against Afghan government on Sunday.
Recently, Gen. Habib Ahmadzai, a former presidential advisor accused the Afghan government of sexually harassing women in exchange for government top position.
Presidential Spokesman Harun Chakhansuri rejected the allegation of “women sexual favor” in exchange for government top positions, saying it is completely baseless and for electoral campaigns.
Ghani’s spokesman says any document regarding “women sexual favor” must be given to the Attorney General Office for legal prosecutions.
Another prominent religious scholar Mawlavi Shabir Ahmad Kamawi was killed by unidentified gunmen in Kabul city, almost two days after a religious scholar was killed in an explosion in Kabul city.
The Office of the President, ARG Palace, in a statement confirmed that the enemies of the country once against martyred a religious scholar Mawlavi Shabir Ahmad Kamawi in Kabul.
The statement further added that Mawlavi Kamawi was one of the prominent religious scholars of the country who had invested most of his time for peace in the country.
This comes as an explosion ripped through a mosque in Kabul city on Friday afternoon killing a prominent religious cleric Mawlavi Rehan dead.
The Ministry of Interior officials confirmed the incident and said the explosion also wounded at least 16 others.
No individual or group has so far claimed responsibility for the two incidents.
Security forces reported the killing of 5 Taliban insurgents and 3 security forces personnel in Kunduz province.
Speaking to Reporterly Inamuddin Rahmani spokesperson of Kunduz Police Command said that in insurgents attack on outposts of local police on Saturday night in Zakhel area of Police District 3 of Kunduz and Char Dara district, 3 security personnel were killed and two others were injured.
Mr. Rahmani further added that in these clashes 5 insurgents were killed and 2 others were wounded.
A red unit commander of the group is also among casualties of Taliban insurgent but his exact identity has not been specified, said spokesperson of Kunduz Police Command.
Ali Larijani became the speaker of Iranian parliament for the 12th consecutive year after defeat of Mohammad Reza Arif.
Mr. Larijani obtained 155 votes and has managed to defeat his rival, Mohammad Reza Aref, with 105 votes in the parliamentary election, as per reports.
It is said that the speaker and administrative board of Iranian parliament are elected for one year and this process is repeated on an annual basis. For the 12th consecutive year, Larijani has won the election.
Since the beginning of 8th round of the Iranian parliament, Larijani has served as speaker of the parliament and is he is considered as a record holder of this position in Islamic history.
It is said that Massoud Pazishkeyan and Abdul Reza Masri were elected first and second deputy speakers of parliament.
Two people who were convicted of kidnapping and killing six-year-old girl Mahsa were sentenced to 30 years in prison each on Sunday.
The girl was kidnapped and killed in Kabul in March by two individuals who related to each other as cousin and had a shop near the house of the victim.
The Kidnappers were demanding a huge ransom from the father of the victim who was a money dealer. As they knew that police were after them, they killed her.
Her killing caused outcry with many calling for death penalty.
The murderers were sentenced to imprisonment by a primary court after the jury heard from prosecutors, lawyers and defendants.
The judge said that the culprits had right to appeal the decision.
The Presidential Information Coordination centre has declared that 112 taliban insurgents were killed across various provinces in the past 24 hours.
In a clash between the ANDSF & Taliban in the center of Logar province, 11 Taliban insurgents were killed & two others wounded. ANDSF also conducted a joint operation in Barmal district of Paktika province that killed 10 Taliban insurgents.
Moreover, ANDSF’s joint operation in Gyan district of Paktika province resulted in detaining 3 Taliban insurgents, and in Jalrez district of Wardak province, ANDSF’s operation killed three Taliban insurgents killed & detained 9 others.
Additionally, as a result of a clash between the ANDSF & Taliban in the areas of Muhammad Agha district of Logar province, 12 Taliban insurgents were killed.
Furthermore, ANDSF conducted multiple raid operations in Northern areas of Helmand province, killing 39 Taliban insurgents while some explosives & weapon caches were destroyed.
Airstrikes conducted by the Afghan Air force in Deh Bala & Achin districts of Nangarhar province resulted in the killing of three enemy militants, in Barmal district of Paktika province resulted in the killing of two Taliban insurgents, in Andar district of Ghazni province resulted in the killing of 4 Taliban insurgents & destroying an enemy vehicle.
In the result of an airstrike conducted in Sayed Abad district of Wardak province, 25 Taliban insurgents were killed & 3 enemy vehicles destroyed, and in Musa Qala district of Helmand province, 4 Taliban insurgents were killed while 2 enemy HQs destroyed.
Finally, in an airstrike conducted in Sangin district of Helmand province, two Taliban insurgents were killed.
NDS conducted an operation in Sherzad district of Nangarhar province that resulted in the killing of 10 militants, with some weapons & ammunition destroyed. Finally, as a result of an NDS operation in the areas of Mazar e Sharif city, two enemy militants detained.
Security officials have announced that a terrorist attack was prevented in Kabul.
Ferdows Faramarz, spokesperson of Kabul Police said on Sunday that a roadside mine which was embedded on the road leading to Red Crescent in PD5 of Kabul city has been defused this morning before occurrence of explosion.
Mr. Faramarz has not provided any further details.
Kabul is one of the provinces that has witnessed the largest use of mines by Taliban insurgents in recent years.
It has been claimed by Pakistani news agency reports that Afghan president Ghani might be visiting Pakistan next month along with senior security officials.
The Afghan ministries are also set to hold discussions with Pakistani Army chief Gen Bajwa on anti-terror and security cooperation, as well as peace process.
Additionally, NSA Mohib is also set to lead a delegation to discuss with Pakistani security officials on Tuesday, while interior minister Massoud Andarabi would be part of the delegation.
The U.S. decision to deploy more troops to the Middle East amid rising tensions with Iran is “highly dangerous,” the Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif warned on Saturday.
“The U.S. move to increase its military presence in our region is highly dangerous and a threat against international peace and security,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told state news agency IRNA.
US President Donald Trump said Friday that the U.S. is sending 1,500 more troops in the Gulf region to counter Iran.
The new deployment will consist of surveillance aircraft, a fighter jet squadron and engineers to fortify buildings and other facilities. The military is also extending the deployment of a 600-person Patriot missile battalion in the region, defense officials said.
All told, the military is sending fewer than 1,000 more troops to the region, officials said.
“We want to have protection,” Trump said. “We’re going to be sending a relatively small number of troops, mostly protective.