Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The US and NATO Forces Commander for Central Asia, Gen. McKenzie conveyed full support and readiness to work with Afghan security forces in all areas, especially in suppressing insurgents, which would facilitate a smooth and comprehensive election.
In a meeting with General Ahmadzai, the commander of 209 Shahin Corps in Camp Marmal in Maza-i-Sharif on Thursday, Gen. McKenzie expressed support for Afghan security forces and also discussed security issues and upcoming presidential election.
At the meeting, he discussed the change of US and NATO’s stance on Taliban insurgents and emphasized the need to suppress the terrorist groups in Afghanistan.
While talking about the joint efforts and good coordination with the Resolute Support Mission forces, General Ahmadzai said, “The Afghan security forces with the support of international partners, especially the US Air Force, NATO, and Afghan Air Force have been able to inflict heavy strikes on decision-making cores of the enemy and disrupted the enemy’s mobility and mechanism”.
He also assured that Afghan security forces are committed to securing the election process with the support and coordination of international partners to facilitate the participation of people in defining their political destiny.
Local officials in Nangarhar province have said that two people including a National Security Directorate (NDS) personnel were killed and one other was wounded in two separate incidents.
“Unidentified armed men opened fire on a vehicle in PD2 of Jalalabad city on Wednesday morning”, the spokesman of Nangarhar governor, Attaullah Khogyani told Reporterly.
Khogyani noted that as a result of the shooting the driver of vehicle was killed and another one got wounded. He stated that the reason of the shooting is not clear and the gunmen succeeded to escape from the area.
The governor’s spokesman further added, in another separate security incident, a NDS personnel named Muhammad Zaman was shot killed in PD3 of Jalalabad city.
The Taliban group claimed responsibility for the killing of the NDS personnel.
Afghan security forces took control of lapis lazuli mines in Keran Wa Manjan district of Badakhshan province, according to the Ministry Of Defense.
MoD in a statement on Wednesday said that after recapturing Keran Wa Manjan district from Taliban, Afghan security forces also took control of the lapis lazuli mines from the Taliban today.
The statement added that a number of Taliban insurgents were killed in the exercise, dozens were injured and some surrendered to security forces in the retake operation.
Although the ministry did not comment on the exact number of casualties of Taliban in the operations, it said that raids are ongoing in Badakhshan.
Lapis Lazuli Mines of Keran Wa Manjan District fell to Taliban control on 15 July.
US President Donald Trump has issued an executive order making it easier for the U.S. administration to impose sanctions on suspected terrorists, their financiers, and their supporters.
“Today’s executive order by President Trump adds further muscle to U.S. counterterrorism efforts,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a briefing to reporters late on September 10.
As per Radio Free Europe report, the order came out on the eve of the 18th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the United States.
Calling the order the “most significant update to counterterrorism sanctions authority since September of 2001,” Pompeo said the new rules allow the State Department and Treasury Department to directly target leaders of suspected terror groups and their affiliates “without having to tie terrorist leaders to specific acts.”
He said the new rules were also more effective at targeting individuals and groups participating in terrorist training and allowed the authorities to impose sanctions on financial institutions that provide services to designated terrorists.
Using the new order, the Treasury Department on September 10 imposed sanctions on leaders, individuals, and entities affiliated with groups such as Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, Pakistan’s Tehrik-e Taliban, and the Iranian Quds Force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ foreign arm.
India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin said that the terrorist threat Afghanistan faces from ‘beyond its borders’ must be addressed.
India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Syed Akbaruddin said on Tuesday that the country preferred direct talks between the Afghanistan government and the Taliban terrorist group, PTI reported. Akbaruddin was speaking at the United Nations Security Council.
Akbaruddin said India supported UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ call for direct talks, as it was the Afghan people who will implement any agreement and bear the consequences of the dialogue. “Hence, outcomes which have constitutional legitimacy and a political mandate and are arrived at in an inclusive and democratic way alone can ensure stability,” Akbaruddin said.
India’s stand at the United Nations came days after United States President Donald Trump pulled out of talks with the Taliban, citing a suicide bombing in Kabul earlier this month that killed 16 people. Subsequently, the Taliban vowed to keep fighting against US armed forces in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan will hold presidential elections on September 28. Akbaruddin highlighted the terrorist threat the country faces from “beyond its borders”. “The support and safe havens enjoyed from beyond Afghanistan’s borders by groups such as the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, Daesh [Islamic State], as well as Al Qaeda and its proscribed affiliates, including the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, must be addressed,” he said.
The permanent representative also appeared to back Trump’s claim that the purpose of the attack earlier this month was to prepare a better negotiating position. “There is a surge of violence in Afghanistan in recent days, including threats to the election process itself,” Akbaruddin said. “This has deepened apprehensions that acts of terror are being used to jockey for a place of advantage in the negotiating process.” He said India understood the problem of terrorism as it was itself a victim of such acts.
Akbaruddin added that India supported an “inclusive peace” in Afghanistan.
The Ministry of Health has announced that a case of polio has been registered in Terinkot city, the provincial capital of the Uruzgan.
“A 14-old-month child has been completely paralyzed by polio in Terinkot city”, Mirajan Rasikh, who is in charge of public awareness program for polio eradication at the Ministry of Health told reporterly.
Rashik added that it was the 8th case registered so far this year in Uruzgan province. The total number of polio cases registered in 2019 reached 16 in the current year.
Meanwhile, the latest positive case of polio was recorded on 1st September in Terinkot city and Chora district of Uruzgan, resulting in paralysation of 2 children.
At least 74 Taliban insurgents were killed in the past 24 hours in Takhar province, security officials in northern part of the country said on Wednesday.
As a result of an airstrike in Khwaja Bahauodin district of Takhar, 61 Taliban insurgents were killed including Abdul Rahman Bilal,Taliban intelligence chief and Ghulam Sakhi Sangyar, Taliban group leader for the district, 217 Pamir Corps said in a statement on Wednesday.
The statement added that, 13 insurgents were wounded and 2 tanks of the group were also destroyed in the operation.
Meanwhile, Taliban in a tweet rejected the report about their casualties in the vicinity of Darqad and Khwaja Bahauddin districts and said that they have surrounded a base of security forces.
Pamir Corps has reported heavy Taliban casualties in Takhar after insurgents launched offensive attacks in some districts of the province recently.
According to some reports, Darqad and Yangi Qala districts of the province collapsed to Taliban yesterday.
Afghan forces reclaimed Kiran Wa Manjan district of the northeastern province of Badakhshan on Wednesday, local officials confirmed.
Badakhshan press office in a statement said on Wednesday that, the operation to retake the district was launched by security forces with the aid of a local commander,Haji Abdul Malik.
The statement further added that the building of Kiran Wa Manjan is now under control of security forces.
The provincial press office did not comment on the casualties inflicted in the clashes.
Kiran Wa Manjan district, known for housing huge deposits of lapis lazuli had fallen to the Taliban on 22 July, 2019.
Earlier, the Afghan forces had reclaimed Yumgan and Wardooj districts of the province which fell to the Taliban four back.
Afghanistan’s National Football Team defeated Bangladesh in an exciting match with a score of 1-0. This was its second match in the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.
The match was hosted by Afghanistan in Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan, on Tuesday.
With Tuesday night’s win, Afghanistan is now at the 3rd position in the group with three points.
In this group of match, Qatar is ahead of Afghanistan and Oman with four points after beating Afghanistan and getting a draw against India on Tuesday night.
Oman is second in the group with one win and is set to play its second match.India with one loss and a draw is at the 4th position while Bangladesh played two matches and lost both of them.
Afghanistan National Team will play its next match against Oman on October 10.
Before this match, Afghanistan national team had lost to Qatar 0-6.
The US and NATO forces commander Gen. Scott Miller and NATO Senior Civilian Representative for Afghanistan, Nicholas Kay have visited the Kandahar province to peace process in Afghanistan.
“We are all committed to peace. We are committed to peace because we know that’s the will of the Afghan people,” Gen. Miller was quoted by TOLONews, as saying. “As we work towards a peaceful outcome for Afghanistan, at the same time, we know that there are operations we conducted to secure the Afghan people and we will continue with those operations.”
Mr. Kay said they will stand with the Afghan forces so that Afghanistan’s territory is never again used for international terrorism.
“We have had a very good meeting in Kandahar and we have come with a very strong delegation from the NATO headquarters in Kabul to show that at this time, NATO is fully committed to continuing our mission to support the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. We remain committed to helping, to create the conditions for peace. We believe in the end there will need to be a peaceful political negotiation to end this conflict,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kandahar governor Hayatullah Hayat said that during their meeting with the NATO officials, they reaffirmed their commitments to the people of Afghanistan.