Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The Pentagon reported that a 24-year-old soldier was killed in a non-combat-related incident in Kandahar on Sunday.
First Lt. Joseph Trent Allbaugh was deployed in support of Operations Freedom’s Sentinel.
“The loss of 1st Lt. Joseph Allbaugh is devastating for everyone,” Col. Charles Matllana, the 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade commander, said in a statement.
“On behalf of the 109th ADA Brigade, I want to extend our deepest condolences. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and fellow soldiers. We are with them during this incredibly painful time.”
The Pentagon said the incident was still under investigation.
Allbaugh’s death follows after Spc. Vincent Sebastian Ibarria who was killed when his vehicle rolled over in Farah province last week.
Afghan security forces killed five Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) members who were fighting for the Taliban in Kunduz, the Special Operations Corps posted on Facebook on Tuesday.
Taliban attacked security checkpoints in the Dasht-e-Archi district of Kunduz province on Monday night, but “fortunately” the attack was repulsed, the post said.
“Five members of the Qari Hussain group” were killed, the post said, referring to the now-dead top lieutenant of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
Four others were wounded in the clash, the post read.
Another Taliban attack in Zabul was thwarted with 10 members of the group killed and four injured on Monday.
The Afghan security forces repulsed an attack in the Zardad region in the Mezan district of the province and also in the Atghar district.
The security forces also detected and defused six IEDs in the Maiwand and Khakriz districts of Kandahar and Mezan district of Zabul province.
Afghanistan’s border agencies received personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies to help combat the spread of Coronavirus, the European Union (EU) said in a press release on Tuesday.
The International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), supported by funds from the EU, has provided infrared thermometers, N95 Masks and PPE gowns, gloves and sanitation supplies meant for the use of the Afghan Border Police, Customs and the Border Security Force.
‘’Our support to Afghan border agencies is part of EU’s overall commitment to strengthen Afghanistan’s regional dimension and connectivity,” said Pierre Mayaudon, the EU Ambassador to Afghanistan.
“This financial contribution comes in addition to the €146 million that the EU has already committed to Afghanistan in its fight against COVID-19.”
This equipment will allow officers working at Afghanistan’s border crossing points and land-borders to protect themselves when screening travellers, disinfect surfaces and isolate sick travellers at the borders, in line with international COVID-19 operating procedures.
In the first three months of the current solar year (which started on March 20), 11 government officials, including seven chiefs and employees of the Attorney General’s Office (AGO), were arrested on corruption charges, the AGO said on Tuesday.
The AGO announced that they had made the fight against corruption one of their priorities and have handled 10 graft cases in this solar year.
According to the AGO, they registered 28 cases last year and sent them to the relevant authorities for investigation, of which 15 were bribery cases and the other 13 were various cases of corruption-related crimes.
The 39 suspects have also been arrested, including 24 prosecutors and full-time staff, and another 15 employees of other departments.
Representatives of the department participated in seven arrests made by the Directorate General of National Security, the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Finance.
Last month, the UN, in its annual report released on June 29, suggested that the Afghan government develop a realistic long-term strategy based on past achievements so that the Anti-Corruption Commission could be set up immediately. They also asked for an increase in the capacity of the rule of law to investigate corruption and related arrests.
The Afghan security forces killed and injured or wounded at least 68 Taliban militants in northern parts of the country in the past 24 hours, the 209th Shaheen Corps said on Tuesday.
In their Facebook post, the military corps said at least 32 Taliban militants were killed and 36 injured in ambushes and clashes in Balkh, Faryab and Samagan provinces.
The security forces also destroyed large amounts of weapons, munitions and several vehicles during the operations, the 209th Shaheen Corps added in its statement.
The Taliban has not commented regarding the incidents so far.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) reported 135 new cases of Coronavirus in the past 24 hours, along with 24 deaths and 174 recoveries.
They were able to lab-test 637 samples across the country during the day.
The MoPH reported new cases in the provinces of Kabul (51), Herat (37), Ghor (16), Logar (9), Balkh (9), Kunduz (4), Baghlan (3), Laghman (3), Takhar (2) and one in Kunar.
The country’s current tallies are 34,740 confirmed cases, of which 12,224 are still active, while 21,454 have recovered and 1,062 have died.
Afghanistan has tested 81,252 samples since the outbreak of COVID-19.
The government has also urged the public to avoid gatherings during Eid do stop the transmission and spread of the virus.
At least five people were killed and 11 wounded when their vehicle struck a roadside mine in Surobi district of Kabul province on Tuesday morning.
Women and children were among the victims, a local official confirmed.
The incident took place in Jegdalak village and no group has claimed responsibility yet.
The Taliban’s attack in Samangan is derailing the peace process said Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, the chief negotiator for the Afghan government in the peace process.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Stanekzai called the attacks on civilian and military targets “unjustifiable” and condemned it.
The head negotiator then said: “Their [Taliban] recent attack in Samangan has disappointed the Afghan people and made them despair for peace in the country. The Taliban must be held accountable for this attack on the people!”
“If the Taliban want peace, they must stop killing people,” he emphasized.
The EU Delegation in Afghanistan also condemned the group’s attack on Monday.
“At times when Afghanistan is taking bold steps for peace, the Taliban attack in Samangan is a provocation. Only a ceasefire will be a proof of goodwill. Stop the violence now!” they urged in their appeal.
This comes as the country marked one of the bloodiest Monday’s in recent months which left 36 dead and 70 wounded in clashes and attacks between the Taliban and government forces in Samangan, Kunduz, Badakhshan and Parwan provinces.
The Faryab police said the Taliban opened fire inside a mosque in central Maimana city in Faryab province, leaving at least three worshippers dead and three more wounded on Monday evening.
Karim Yorish, spokesperson for the provincial police, said the incident took place during Maghrib prayer in the Bibi Ayena area in the second security district of the provincial capital.
All the victims, other than a local police commander identified as Satar, were civilians.
The attackers fled after the shooting and ran into security forces at a checkpoint about a kilometer away. This injured two of the attackers., however they managed to escape.
A Reuters journalist tweeted that along with Satar, four other worshippers, including his brother and son were “assassinated” while eight were injured inside the mosque.
The Taliban has yet to comment on the incident.