Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
An aircraft crashed in the Deh Yak district of central Ghazni province on Monday, officials confirmed.
The area of the plane crash is said to be under the control of Taliban, which makes the rescue operation and investigations challenging for the Afghan government.
The number of people on board and their fate was not immediately known, nor was the cause of the crash.
Afghanistan’s Civil Aviation Authority said in a Facebook post that it had received no reports of a civilian airliner going down, raising the possibility that it was a military or cargo aircraft that had crashed.
The plane was initially reported to have belonged to Ariana Airlines but they have now denied the report.
Ariana Airlines, Afghanistan’s national carrier, dismissed the claim that one of their planes had crashed in a statement on their website, saying all their aircraft were operational and safe.
“There has been an airline crash but it does not belong to Ariana because the two flights managed by Ariana today from Herat to Kabul and Herat to Delhi are safe,” CEO Mirwais Mirzakwal said.
In the meantime, Ghazni provincial governor, Wahidullah Kalimzai said, “The aircraft does not belong to any domestic companies, and that the aircraft has entirely burned and cannot be identified, the body of a pilot has been recovered who is a foreigner.”
However, sources in Resolute Support, the NATO mission to support the Afghan government said that no US or coalition aircraft were involved.
On the other hand, the representative of Ghazni province at the Lower House of Parliament, Arif Rahmani told Reporterly that the crashed aircraft was for civilian passengers which had a capacity of 15 people, adding that ambulances are on way to the crash area which is under control of Taliban.
The last major commercial air crash in Afghanistan occurred in 2005 when a Kam Air flight from western Herat to the capital Kabul crashed into the mountains as it tried to land in snowy weather.
Dundee’s Global Health Research Unit will collaborate with the Moraa Educational Complex (MEC) to investigate the incidence of diabetes in patients attending the outpatient department of the Kabul hospital, with the aim of offering sustainable solutions for individuals with the disease.
The collaboration marks an expansion for INSPIRED, a £7 million Dundee-led project that seeks to improve diabetes outcomes in India.
The Moraa Educational Complex is a female-focused project funded by Dr Azizullah Amir through private investment and capital contributions.
Professor Colin Palmer, Chair of Pharmacogenomics at the University and lead of the INSPIRED study, said “It is very exciting to be using Scottish diabetes expertise to fight the disease in other countries.
“Lifestyle factors obviously significantly enhance a person’s risk of getting diabetes but we are taking a genetic approach in this collaboration because very little is known about the genetics of the people of Afghanistan.
After signing the agreement with Dundee, Dr Amir said: “Diabetes is a big problem in Afghanistan. We know it is one of highest causes of mortality but we don’t have a lot of data beyond that. In many cases the diabetes remains undiagnosed because it is not a well-known disease there.”
“We are committed to working in this field to bring new insights to present to policy makers and this partnership with the University of Dundee will help with that,” he added.
An airplane of Ariana Afghan Airlines crashed in Deh Yak district of Ghazni province on Monday, local officials confirmed.
The spokesman of Ghazni governor, Aref Noori told Reporterly, “The airplane crashed at a distance of 20kms from Deh-e Yak district at around 13:10pm (local time) on Monday.”
Noori noted that ambulances and security forces have been deployed to the area.
He further added that the reason of crash is still not clear and there is no information available regarding the casualties.
The President’s spokesperson, Sediq Sediqi says providing peace and stability in the country is the people’s main demand and the priorities of Afghan government.
“President Ghani’s comprehensive efforts over the last five years have made peace as a national, regional and global discourse,” Sediqi said in a tweet.
He added that for the first time, the government’s efforts have led the Afghan people to witness a three-day ceasefire in the country.
This comes as the Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah in a press conference in Kabul stressed that his team is inclusive and can be the main party for the peace talks.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has called on China to not allow people to travel to Afghanistan amid the outbreak of coronavirus.
The Health Minister, Ferozuddin Feroz in a phone call with China’s ambassador in Kabul, Wang Yu demanded that to not allow business travelers and Afghans who have recently travelled to China to fly to Afghanistan, MoPH said in a statement.
In the meantime, the Chinese Ambassador to Kabul Wang Yu said on his Twitter account that the Chinese side is willing to cooperate with the Afghan government in preventing the coronavirus from spreading to Afghanistan.
Ambassador Wang Yu has assured that China would provide necessary assistance to 62 Afghan students in Wuhan.
This comes as the death toll from Coronavirus in China rose to 81 on Monday with more than 2,700 cases confirmed.
Four militants including a Taliban local commander were killed in a clash in Eshkamish district of the northern Takhar province on Monday, provincial government spokesman Mohammad Jawad Hajari said.
The clash erupted at 02:00 a.m. local time when a group of Taliban fighters stormed a police checkpoint and police returned fire which lasted for a while, leaving four insurgents including a Taliban commander, Mullah Shah Dula, dead and three others injured, the official said.
Two police officers were also wounded in the firefight, the official added.
Taliban militants who are active in parts of Takhar and the neighboring Kunduz province haven’t commented.
The Ministry of Energy of Turkmenistan and TAPP-500 Power Transmission Line FZE company have signed an agreement on cooperation in construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan power transmission line in Ashgabat, Turkmen media report.
The first stage of the project covers construction of a 220 kW power transmission line to the Turkmen-Afghan border along the route from the Mary Hydropower station to the Afghan city of Herat.
The implementation of this agreement will increase export of Turkmen electricity and create prerequisites for establishment of the power engineering industry in Afghanistan.
TAPP-500 Power Transmission Line FZE is a subsidiary of Turkish company Çalyk Holding, which is a long-standing partner of Turkmenistan in developing its power engineering industry.
The Afghan Public Health Ministry launched a nationwide campaign on Monday to give polio vaccination dose to 9.1 million children under the age of five, the ministry said in a statement.
The five-day campaign started on Monday in 30 of the country’s 34 provinces. Due to harsh weather, the anti-polio drive will not be conducted in central Bamyan and Daykundi provinces and western Ghor and Badghis provinces.
The drive was launched as 29 polio cases were detected in Afghanistan in 2019.
The ongoing insurgency and conflicts have been hindering the efforts to stamp out the infectious disease in the mountainous country as 1.2 million children from areas inaccessible to vaccination teams will miss the ongoing vaccine drive.
Afghanistan and the neighboring Pakistan are the only two countries in the world that polio cases are reported every year, according to the statement.
The European Union (EU) in Afghanistan says the new Afghan government will have to deliver concrete results for anti-corruption efforts or face donor fatigue.
According to the Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International, Afghanistan has remained among the top 10 corrupt countries in the world in 2019.
Afghanistan was scored 15 out of 100 in 2017, 16 in 2018 and remained in the same place in 2019.
“2019 Corruption Perceptions Index shows Afghanistan is still stagnating in the bottom of the list of the most corrupt countries,” EU in Afghanistan said in a tweet.
The report indicates that there has not been any progress in fighting against corruption since 2018 in Afghanistan.
An initiative in Kabul has manufactured mobile kitchens that are driven around the city by women.
Called “Banu’s Kitchen” (a woman’s kitchen), the mobile kitchens are solar-powered rikshaws that sell a variety of scrumptious Afghan foods on the streets of Kabul city.
These rikshaws can travel 96 kilometers of distance in 6 hours.
“We cook and prepare the food and then distribute them to the drivers of these rikshaws to sell,” said Farhad Wajidi, head of Banu’s Kitchen initiative, in an interview with Voice of America.
According to Wajidi, the women who are employed by his initiative were impoverished women. “We’ve helped these women achieve financial independence and stand on their feet,” said Wajidi.
Afghanistan’s first ever IV fluid production factory is established in Herat. The factory produces over 12,000 liters of IV fluid daily.
“We presently produce 8 different kinds of IV fluids and we plan on producing other types of intravenous fluids,” said Mohammad Raza Alimi, head of the IV fluid factory.
Meanwhile, the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) have reported about the launch of two other drug factories in the coming four months.
“We are expecting the launch of two other drug factories in the industrial part of Herat. After the launch of these factories, we will have 8 drug factories operating in Herat’s industrial park,” said Hamidullah Khadem, head of ACCI in Herat.
Herat’s local officials have promised to protect locally produced drugs against the imported ones.