Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Afghan security forces launched airstrikes in three districts of Helmand province in the last 24 hours, killing at least 11 Taliban insurgents.
The military officials have said that airstrikes in Lashkgrah district of Helmand killed at least 8 Taliban insurgents.
The officials further added an airstrike in Nawzad district of Helmand killed 2 Taliban insurgents while a similar airstrike killed 1 Taliban militant in Nad Ali district of the province.
The Taliban group has not commented regarding the airstrikes so far.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has met with the leadership of the Ministry of Defense (MoD) in ARG, the Presidential Palace said.
The President’s office in a press release said that President Ghani in his meeting with the defense authorities praised their efforts and assured the support of people and the International Community from them.
According to the press release, Ghani emphasized on neutrality of security forces in election affairs, saying the Afghan army is a national institution and protects the national interests in the framework of constitutions.
President noted that there have been fundamental changes in the capabilities of the ANA in the past five years and security forces are strongly fighting against the threats that the people and country are facing.
In the meantime, the acting Minister of Defense Asadullah Khalid called the President’s defense vision a strategic guideline for the army, adding that the security forces had achieved great achievements.
Earthquake of magnitude 5.3 struck 122 km southeast of Fayzabad in northeastern Afghanistan on Thursday.
The earthquake took place at 9:23 UTC with an epicenter southeast of Fayzabad city.
European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said, ”Earthquake of magnitude 5.3 struck 122 km southeast of Fayzabad in Afghanistan today.”
The age of its last eruption, however, is unknown.
Afghan local officials have confirmed that the Taliban insurgents shot killed two Police officers in Badakhshan province.
The spokesman of Badakhshan Police, Sanaullah Rohani told Reporterly that eight officers from different military units have come to Jaram district for their vacations.
Rohani noted that the Taliban group came to the Singan area of the Jaram district two days ago.
According to the information of security officials, six of the security personnel have fled the area and the Taliban shot killed the other two.
The security forces arrested two Taliban insurgents during a raid in northern Balkh province, the security officials said.
The military authorities declared that the forces arrested the two insurgents during a raid in Chahar Bolak district of Balkh.
Security forces also destroyed a small cache of weapons during the same raid, the officials added.
The Taliban group has not commented regarding the raid so far.
A road accident in Iran’s southeast has killed 28 Afghan nationals, the Iranian media reported on Thursday.
The report said 21 people were also injured when two vans collided near the town of Khash in Sistan and Baluchistan province early on Thursday. That’s about 1,500 kilometers southeast of the capital, Tehran.
The area is a frequent route used by traffickers to smuggle illegal Afghan migrants, usually in crammed vehicles in desperate conditions, AP reported.
Iran has one of the world’s worst traffic safety records, which are blamed on disregard of traffic laws, unsafe vehicles and inadequate emergency services, it said.
Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) has stressed on presence and involvement of the war victims in any stage of Afghan peace talks.
AIHRC in a press release on Thursday said that the commission emphasizes continuation efforts for achieving a stable peace in the country.
According to the press release, the commission voiced serious concern over the release of Taliban prisoners and ignoring the victims’ repeated demands for justice and accountability which will also lead to the continuity of the impunity culture and endangering opportunities for sustainable peace.
The commission further added that the negligence of the International Community and the involved parties in the war to the victims’ human rights and their involvement in peace talks will reduce people’s believes about the peace process.
This comes as the Afghan government has recently announced to retrieve two Western professors in a swap with Taliban leadership in which they will relinquish several Taliban prisoners.
Chinese Chargé d’Affaires in Kabul Wang Daxue has met the Afghan State Minister for Peace Affairs Abdul Salam Rahimi and discussed the upcoming intra-Afghan dialogue in Beijing.
The Beijing meeting is likely to be held later this month at a time when the peace process between the Taliban and the US is stalled.
The intra-Afghan meeting has assumed importance as a big delegation of the Taliban will sit with a representative delegation from Kabul.
Government representatives will be part of the delegation, according to Afghan officials, who say a delegation has been formed for the Beijing talks. However, names of the delegates have not yet been announced.
According to Rahimi’s Facebook page, Wang Daxue declared that the details about the preparations for the peace talks among the Afghans in Beijing have been completed.
The Chinese diplomat said China is making efforts so the China talks could help in the peace process.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has urged the Independent Election Commission (IEC) to fairly and fully evaluate the issues raised in the 10 November letter and reach and make public its findings in a timely manner.
UNAMA in a press release said that it provides support to the Afghan electoral authorities and their work to manage credible elections.
“On 10 November, the head of UNAMA, sent an official letter to the IEC Chair, bringing to her attention the Mission’s concerns about an incident in which an IEC Commissioner’s actions were considered inappropriate and in violation of the Afghan Election Law,” the press release said.
UNAMA stated that in keeping with its mandate to advise Afghan electoral authorities, the purpose of the letter was to support and safeguard the integrity of the IEC and for the Election law to be respected.
“It is a matter of concern that the letter was leaked to the media and has been politicized by some to misrepresent its purpose and contents,” the press release reads.
UNAMA re-iterated that it maintains strict impartiality in support of the Afghan electoral authorities, respect for the country’s election law and all efforts to fight fraud.
“UNAMA will continue its work to support the electoral authorities, providing impartial and expert advice directed towards supporting an open and credible election process based on rule of law,” the press release added.
Former President, Hamid Karzai met with Emomali Rahmon, President of Republic of Tajikistan during a visit to Dushanbe.
A broad range of issues was discussed at the meeting, including bilateral cooperation, current economic and security situation in Afghanistan, regional and global issues.
The sides found it necessary to use all available resources to bring peace and stability to the region, to prevent extremism and illicit drug trafficking.