Newsfeed: Monday, July 15

Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…

  • 15 Jul 2019 Share this post

    IEC Distributes Credentials to 17 Presidential Candidates

    The Independent Election Commission has distributed credentials to 17 presidential candidates.

    In a press conference, the Independent Election Commission distributed the credentials of 17 presidential candidates on Monday.

    Among the 18 presidential candidates, Ghulam Farooq Nijrabi refused to receive the credentials of the Independent Election Commission in protest against continuation of the government work despite its end of tenure.

    Addressing a press conference on the distribution of credentials to presidential candidates, IEC chairman Hawa Alam Nuristani said that, the commission was about to distribute the credentials of the candidates three days earlier, but due to approval work of some important bills, the work was postpended.

    Ms Nuristani pledged that the commission will complete the process of holding election with impartiality and independence.

    Meanwhile, IEC deputy, Esmatullah Mal said that the commission has put forward the use of the biometric devices in its agenda, and it is decided to use the biometric system on the election day, which would include an electronic list of voters installed in biometric devices and after entering the sticker number and the name of the voter name in the list, the voter can vote.

  • 15 Jul 2019 Share this post

    Private Radio Samaa Shuts Down After Taliban Threat

    A private radio station in Afghanistan has shut down after numerous threats from a suspected Taliban commander who objected to women working as presenters, officials at the radio station said on Monday, as reported by media sources.

    The incident comes as the Taliban are discussing a peace deal with the United States that could see them re-joining mainstream society, and that has brought new scrutiny of their attitudes to issues like women’s rights and the media.

    The private radio station, Samaa, has been broadcasting political, religious, social and entertainment programs in the central province of Ghazni since 2013.

    Its 13 employees, including three women presenters, broadcast in Afghanistan’s two main languages – Dari and Pashto.

    The radio station’s director, Ramez Azimi, said that Taliban commanders in the area had sent written warnings and telephoned in, to tell the radio station to stop employing women.

    “The Taliban also came to my house and issued a threat,” Azimi said.

    He said the threats had forced him to suspend broadcasts.

  • 15 Jul 2019 Share this post

    Key Taliban Commander Killed with His 8 Subordinates in Herat

    Security forces reported the killing of a key Taliban commander along with his 8 subordinates in Herat province.

    Ministry of Interior in a statement said that, police special forces conducted a joint operation with defense forces for suppressing Taliban insurgents in the surrounding of Obe district of Herat province.

    The statement further added that, as a result of operation a key Taliban commander and his 8 subordinates were killed and another one was injured.

    Three individuals were arrested in the operation, as per the statement.

  • 15 Jul 2019 Share this post

    IEC Announces Approval of $149 Million Budget for Presidential Election

    The Independent Election Commission has announced that a total of $ 149 million has been approved by the government and the international community for the upcoming presidential elections.

    The commission said in a statement on Monday that, the needed budget for presidential election has been approved on 11 July.

    The statement further added that, of total of $149million budget for presidential elections, $90 million is provided by Afghan government and other $59 million by international community.

    The commission has urged all stakeholders, national and international organizations and the people of Afghanistan to fulfill their national, legal and ethical obligations in the electoral process and to cooperate with electoral commissions in holding transparent elections.

    Afghan presidential election is set to be held on 28 September.

    Previously, the ministry of finance has reported the approval of the budget for presidential elections.

    Meanwhile, IEC Chief Hawa Alam Nuristani has said that the number of that female employees has increased in the IEC.
    “Once again, I call on all women to take part in the election especially women who are in the villages and we are committed to hold fair and on time election”, Nuristani expressed.

  • 15 Jul 2019 Share this post

    Shahin 207 Operation Continues in Balkh, 90 Taliban Insurgents Killed Including 17 Commanders

    Afghan Army in the north has announced that in continuation of Shahin 207 operation in Balkh, as of now, 90 Taliban insurgents including 17 commanders of the group have been killed.

    Speaking to Reporterly on Monday, Mohammad Hanif Rezaee said that, it has been more than a week since Shahin 207 Operation was launched in some districts of the province and as a result, 90 Taliban insurgents were killed including 17 commanders of the group.

    He further added that, 75 other insurgents were injured in the operation.

    In latest clashes, a key Taliban commander identified as Anar Gul known as Shoaib was killed with a one of his assistants and three others were injured in Pa-e-Timor area of Chamtal district of the province, as per Rezaee.

    According to 209 Shahin Corps, the villages of Sorkh Gonbad, Shash Khana and Hashim Abad which are located in surrounding of Dawlat Abad district were cleared in the operation.

    In the operation many of Taliban compounds and centers have been demolished, Rezaee said.

  • 15 Jul 2019 Share this post

    Taliban Weapons Facilitator Arrested in Uruzgan

    Security forces reported the arrest of an insurgent who was facilitating weapons and munitions supply to Taliban insurgents in Uruzgan province.

    The Ministry of Interior in a statement said the security forces arrested Hekmatullah, the weapons facilitator of Taliban in Tarin Kot city on Sunday evening.

    The interior ministry also added that Hekmatullah was attempting to smuggle dozens of boxes of ammunition to Taliban insurgents.

    Furthermore, the interior ministry said the security forces also discovered a large quantity of ammunition from the house of Hekmatullah.

  • 15 Jul 2019 Share this post

    Iran Ready to Talk to US if Sanctions Lifted: Rouhani

    Iran is ready to hold talks with the United States if Washington lifts sanctions and returns to the 2015 nuclear deal it quit last year, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised speech Sunday.

    President Donald Trump’s administration says it is open to negotiations with Iran on a more far-reaching agreement on nuclear and security issues.

    But Iran has made any talks conditional on first being able to export as much oil as it did before the United States withdrew from the nuclear pact with world powers in May 2018.

    “We have always believed in talks . . . if they lift sanctions, end the imposed economic pressure and return to the deal, we are ready to hold talks with America today, right now and anywhere,” Rouhani said in his Sunday speech.

    Confrontations between Washington and Tehran have escalated, culminating in a plan for U.S. air strikes on Iran last month that Trump called off at the last minute.

    Calling for dialog between all parties to resume, France, Britain and Germany – parties to the 2015 pact – said Sunday they were preoccupied by the escalation of tensions in the Gulf region and the risk the nuclear deal might fall apart.

  • 15 Jul 2019 Share this post

    Explosion Claim Life of Two Children in Balkh

    Afghan Army in the northern part of Afghanistan has reported the killing of two children in mine explosion in Balkh province.

    Speaking to Reporterly on Monday, Hanif Rezaee spokesman of 209th Shahin Coprs said that a mine which was placed by Taliban insurgents in Khan Abad area of Chahar Bolak district claimed the life of two children on Sunday afternoon.

    Rezaee further added that, the children were killed when they were busy with playing games that the mine exploded.

    In insecure parts of Afghanistan, children have been the largest victims of mine explosions placed by Taliban on roads.

  • 15 Jul 2019 Share this post

    World Bank Orders Pak Govt to Pay $5.8 M Damages to Tethyan Copper

    World Bank arbitration court has ordered the Pakistani government pay damages of $5.8 billion to Tethyan Copper, a joint venture between Chile’s Antofagasta Plc (ANTO.L) and Canada’s Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), the Chilean miner said late on Friday, reported by Reuters.

    Tethyan Copper discovered vast mineral wealth more than a decade ago in Reko Diq, at the foot of an extinct volcano near Pakistan’s frontier with Iran and Afghanistan. The deposit was set to rank among the world’s biggest untapped copper and gold mines.

    The company said it had invested more than $220 million by the time Pakistan’s government, in 2011, unexpectedly refused to grant them the mining lease needed to keep operating.

    The World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) ruled against Pakistan in 2017, but until now had yet to determine the damages owed to Tethyan.

    Tethyan board chair William Hayes said in a statement the company was still “willing to strike a deal with Pakistan,” but added that “it would continue protecting its commercial and legal interests until the dispute was over.”

    The Reko Diq mine has become a test case for Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ability to attract serious foreign investment to Pakistan as it struggles to stave off an economic crisis that has forced it to seek an International Monetary Fund bailout.

  • 15 Jul 2019 Share this post

    Decorated US Service Member Killed in Faryab

    A U.S. Army soldier was killed in Afghanistan on Saturday.

    The announcement was made in a statement by NATO’s Operation Resolute Support, but offered no further details about how the service member was killed.

    On Sunday morning, the U.S. Army identified the soldier as a decorated Green Beret.

    Green Beret Sgt. Maj. James Sartor was killed in Afghanistan, July 13, 2019.
    Sgt. Maj. James G. “Ryan” Sartor, 40, of Teague, Texas, joined the Army in June 2001 and was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division, the Army said in a statement.

    Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack in Faryab.