Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The first Vice-President, General Abdul Rashid Dostum leading a delegation has rushed to the northern Jawzjan to prevent Taliban from overrunning Aqcha district, local officials confirmed.
Gen. Dostum in meeting with a number of the inhabitants of the Aqcha district urged them to stand against Taliban.
“Be strong and stand shoulder to shoulder. We stand beside our soldiers and move toward Faryab and Sar-e Pul. There will be no sign of them in three months,” Dostum said.
He added that the current situation was shared with President Ashraf Ghani and Gen. Scott Miller, the US and NATO commander in Afghanistan and a new operation will be started in Jawzjan.
This comes as the Taliban group stormed a security outpost in Aqcha district last night and killed 22 soldiers.
The National Directorate of Security (NDS) says at least 221 insurgents have been killed, 104 others wounded and 649 others arrested during the last month.
NDS in a press release said that the operatives have conducted more than 532 operations during the last month in all across the country.
According to the press release, NDS Special Unit forces in a joint operation have killed one of the key Haqqani members named Asem Omar in Musa Qala district of Helmand with a number of other Taliban members.
According to the NDS, the members of two networks who were involved in damaging the power pylons in Salang and armed robberies have been arrested and introduced to the judicial institutions.
This comes as the Human Rights Watch has accused the NDS forces of war crimes.
The ‘State Builder’ electoral team has expressed deep concern over the delay in announcement of the preliminary Presidential elections results.
The political committee of State Builder team in a statement called on the Independent Election Commission (IEC) for more clarification about the delay in announcement of election results.f
According to the statement, the State Builder team stated that it will announces its view on non-biometric votes which have stickers and registered in IEC database in accordance with the constitution, other applicable laws, the internal procedure of IEC and the decision of IEC commissioners later.
The electoral team urged the International Community and the donors to respect the independency of IEC and the votes of Afghan people and not to interfere in the election process.
The statement further added that the team has also called on the election commissions to maintain their independency, credibility and not be pressured by foreigners, officials and powerful.
Afghan women have no choice but to hope the Taliban respect their rights for the sake of peace, said Fauzia Kofi, the first woman to lead a political party in Afghanistan.
“There is no other option. Like many other women I have my concerns, especially when it comes to the Taliban perception of women’s rights,” Kofi told Reuters in an interview.
“But given that my people have suffered more than four decades of war, I think the desire of all is a dignified peace, so I have no choice but to be cautiously optimistic.”
As per Reuters report, the first woman deputy of the lower house of parliament, is likely to attend the third round of intra-Afghan talks, expected in China soon. The earlier rounds were in Moscow and Qatar.
Afghan security officials say at least 15 Taliban Militants and two civilians were killed in an explosion in Jawzjan province on Thursday.
The 209th Shaheen Corps in a statement said the incident took place at around 3:00 pm on Wednesday in Bazarak Jangal Aregh Village of Mardian district.
The statement further added that the Taliban militants were transporting roadside bombs and explosive materials and were their way from Chahar Bolak district of Balkh province to Mardian district.
However, the explosives went off prematurely killing 15 Taliban militants and 2 civilians, the 209th Shaheen Corps added.
According to the Shahin Corps, at least 14 other people including Taliban militants and ordinary civilians were also wounded.
Afghan military officials say at least 11 Taliban insurgents have been killed and wounded in Takhar province.
The Pamir 217th Corps in a statement on Thursday said that the air forces launched an operation on Darwaze Pata Wa Khal area of Darqad district yesterday.
According to the statement, six Taliban militants were killed and five others were wounded in the operation.
The statement added that several Taliban’s hideouts and a Corolla type vehicle were also destroyed during the operation.
Afghan army’s airstrike in Zabul province have killed at least 47 Taliban terrorists and injured 15 others.
According to an army spokesperson, foreign troops aimed at the terrorist hideouts in Shinki and Nawbahar districts killing the district governor designated by the Taliban.
Additionally, the strikes in Arghandab and Shah Wali Kot districts of Kandahar lead to the destruction of 10 mines.
Meanwhile, in another strike launched on Taliban bases in Gizab district of the Uruzgan province, 11 terrorists were killed.
A total of 150 young Afghan women celebrated their graduation today from USAID’s Women in Commercial Banking (WICB) program during an official ceremony attended by the Executive Directors of the Afghanistan Banks Association, the Microfinance Investment Support Facility for Afghanistan, the Afghanistan Microfinance Association, and representatives from private banks, microfinance institutions, insurance companies and other stakeholders.
“Increasing the number of women in the financial sector, particularly in decision-making and lending roles, will change the way banks engage with women, ultimately making a wide range of financial services more accessible to women,” said Tina Dooley-Jones, USAID Afghanistan Deputy Mission Director.
Implemented by the Afghanistan Institute of Banking and Finance (AIBF) in Kabul, Herat, Balkh, Kandahar and Nangarhar, the Women in Commercial Banking program provided the graduates with the technical and managerial skills, as well as the valuable work experience needed to secure permanent jobs in the country’s banking and financial sectors. The young women received six months of classroom training at AIBF, followed by three-month internships in commercial banks. Twenty-six of the trainees have already transitioned to full-time jobs in various commercial banks.
Mr. Lutful Haq Noor, the Chief Executive Officer of AIBF, said: “The WICB was an essential program. It was a great initiative taken by USAID to bridge the gap between male and female professionals in the banking sector of Afghanistan.”
US-backed Afghan paramilitary groups operating with impunity are summarily executing civilians during botched night-time raids and are responsible for the disappearances of suspects, a rights group said Thursday.
As per AFP report, the secretive militias, whose support comes from America’s Central Intelligence Agency is originally rooted in the Soviet-Afghan war of the 1980s, have long hunted the Taliban across Afghanistan and have seen increasing action as the war against the insurgents intensifies.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) documented 14 cases from late 2017 to mid-2019 in which it said CIA-backed “strike groups” committed serious abuses during night raids, such as one in the southeastern province of Paktia in which a paramilitary unit killed 11 men, including eight who were home for the Eid holidays.
In many cases, the raids — usually in Taliban-controlled areas — were accompanied by air strikes that “indiscriminately or disproportionately” killed civilians, HRW said in a report.
Night raids — where special forces troops blast doors and rush a building under the cover of dark — are a popular tactic that combines surprise, overwhelming firepower and night-vision equipment to stun occupants.
“In ramping up operations against the Taliban, the CIA has enabled abusive Afghan forces to commit atrocities including extrajudicial executions and disappearances,” said Patricia Gossman, the report author and HRW’s associate Asia director.