Newsfeed; Saturday, March 21 2020

Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…

  • 21 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Taliban Attacks on ANDSF Jeopardize Peace Process: Ghani

    Regarding the Zabul attack, President Ashraf Ghani has said the Taliban not only put the opportunity of peace at risk but would also spark public hate against the rebel group.

    President Ghani in a statement has strongly condemned the attack of Taliban on the Afghan security forces in Zabul.

    The heinous act of the Taliban was a clear example of their commitment for continued violence and against the Afghan peace process, he said.

    The statement quoted Ghani as saying “The barbaric attacks of Taliban not only create risks against peace but also surged people’s hatred against the insurgent group.”

    The statement added that the people of Afghanistan appreciated the sacrifices of security and defence forces and always supported and stood with them.

    At least two dozen Afghan security forces were killed Friday in an insider attack on their base in southern Zabul province.

    Several “infiltrators” opened fire on their comrades as they slept; one of the deadliest attacks since the US signed a withdrawal deal with the Taliban last month.

  • 21 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Taliban Kill 9 Afghan Security Forces in Kapisa & Baghlan

    The Taliban on Saturday killed at least nine Afghan security forces, the second day of such assaults amid ongoing efforts for peace in the country, officials confirmed.

    In an overnight assault, the insurgents killed seven policemen in the northern Kapisa province. Interior ministry spokesman Tariq Aryan said the incident took place in the Afghanya valley of the province’s Najrab district.

    Three Taliban attackers were also killed in the exchange of fire, a local official said.

    In a similar attack, insurgents killed two Afghan security forces in the neighboring Baghlan province, locals said.

    The attacks come a day after the insurgents killed at least 24 Afghan security forces in an overnight raid on a joint police and army station in the southern Zabul province.

  • 21 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Chinese Billionaire & Alibaba Founder Sending 1.8m Masks to Afghanistan

    Jack Ma, Asia’s richest man, pledged 1.8 million face masks, 210,000 test kits and 36,000 protective suits plus ventilators and thermometers to combat the outspread of coronavirus in Afghanistan and 9 other Asian countries.

    “Go Asia! We will donate emergency supplies (1.8M masks, 210K test kits, 36K protective suits, plus ventilators & thermometers) to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan & Sri Lanka. Delivering fast is not easy, but we’ll get it done!,” the Chinese billionaire and founder of Alibaba Group and Jack Foundation said in a Twitter post.

    The latest announcement by Jack Ma is being made at a time when there are growing concerns that the massive return of Afghan refugees from Iran could result into further outspread of the disease in Afghanistan.

  • 21 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Supplies’ Imports Begin From Spin Boldak Port: MoF

    The Ministry of Finance (MoF) says that the Spin Boldak-Chaman port in Kandahar province and the border with Pakistan has opened and the imports of supplies have begun.

    MoF in a press release said that
    following the talks between the acting Finance Minister and Pakistani officials, the Spin Boldak crossing opened today at around 08:00am.

    According to the press release, up to 50 vehicles of supplies have entered to Afghanistan so far and this trend continues.

    MoF noted that efforts are underway to open the Torkham and Gholam Khan ports for businessmen.

    This comes as previously, Abdullah Abdullah has claimed that the Spin Boldak crossing was opened due to the request of Afghanistan inclusive government.

  • 21 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Afghanistan Ranks World’s Unhappiest Country

    Afghanistan is ranked the least happy country in the world, according to an annual survey released on Friday.

    The 2020 World Happiness Report, released by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, showed that Afghanistan fell two places to the lowest position (153) of the list.

    The report ranks countries considering GDP per capital, social support, health life expectancy, social freedom, generosity and absence of corruption.

    For the first time, the WHR 2020 has also ranked cities around the world by their “subjective well-being” and digging more deeply into how the social, urban, and natural environments combine to affect people’s happiness.

    The capital city of Finland, Helsinki, ranked first, while Afghanistan’s capital city, Kabul, dropped to the bottom of the table.

  • 21 Mar 2020 Share this post

    TIR Boosts India-Iran-Afghanistan Intermodal Trade

    The first intermodal transport, using TIR from India via Chabahar port in Iran, was completed last week.

    Carrying factory line components, the operation took seven days in total – five by sea and two by road from Chabahar port in Iran to the final destination in Afghanistan.

    In comparison, the traditional route from Bandar Abbas port in Iran is three to four days longer.

    This was also the first TIR operation started from India and by an Indian TIR carnet holder, the International Road Union (IRU) said. Thanks to TIR and its IT tools, the risk management procedures were completed ahead of the journey.

    As a result, the containers were not opened for inspection at any of the borders crossed, including Chabahar port, according to IRU.

  • 21 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Impossible to Test Each Patient for Coronavirus: Ministry of Health

    The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) says it is impossible to test each patient for the coronavirus case.

    The spokesman of MoPH, Wahidullah Mayar in a press conference said that there were “no positive cases reported of the coronavirus in last 24 hours in the country.”

    According to Mayar, the tests of coronavirus infects will not be sent to Kabul from Herat anymore it can now be diagnosed there.

    Mayar noted that 12 suspects of coronavirus are in quarantine.

    He added that the Minister of Public Health does not have the coronavirus.

  • 21 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Construction Helicopters Obtains NATO/Afghanistan Service Contract

    Construction Helicopters has been awarded a $33.9 million contract modification through the FMS process to support NATO’s Air Command-Afghanistan and the Combined Security Transition Command.

    The services will help the Afghan Air Force perform a range of applications including medical evacuations, passenger and cargo transport, and the removal of human remains as directed by the Afghan government.

    The contract is expected to run until 18 March 2021 and will be funded by FY2020 Afghanistan Security Force funds from the US Army.

    The new modification brings the total contract value to $101.57 million. It is being overseen by the US Transportation Command.