Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
National Directorate of Security (NDS) has arrested the mastermind of the attacks on Kabul University and Kowsar Danesh educational center.
NDS in a press release said that Special Forces arrested Mohammad Adil, alias (Asad and Arash), the mastermind of the attacks on Kabul University and Kowsar Danesh educational center from PD12.
According to the press release, Adil had been an undergraduate student in the Islamic law faculty of the university. He left his studies to join the Haqqani militant group and later planned the attack under the command of an experienced member of the Haqqani group.
“Adil had been missing for three years amid rumours that he had gone to receive training in war and fighting,” the press release reads.
“He first meets a man named Muhammad, the mastermind of the assassination and kidnapping of a joint ISIL-Haqqani network, and then works together on terrorist attacks.”
“I proposed the idea of attacking the Faculty of Law to Muhammad, which he accepted, because we wanted to attack centers that were newsworthy in terms of coverage and that the government comes under pressure,” Adil said.
Adil and Mohammad then agree to carry out their plan on Kabul university with two attackers, Hedayat and another person named Tariq.
It is worth mentioning that Adil, in addition to the plot of the attacks, was also involved in several other terrorist incidents, including the suicide attack on Dasht-e Barchi Hospital.
At least 22 people were killed and another 27 wounded when three gunmen rampaged through the Kabul university on November 2, spraying classrooms with bullets for several hours before they were killed by security forces.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has firmly condemned the increase in violence against media personnel in Afghanistan and urged the Afghan authorities to give them better protection.
Mohammad Aliyas Dayee – who worked for the Radio Azadi, the Afghan offshoot of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) – was killed in Lashkargah, the capital of Helmand province.
Aged 32, Dayee had worked for the US government-funded RFE/RL since 2008. He was the father of a little girl.
“This shocking action must not go unpunished and must not recur,” said Reza Moïni, the head of RSF’s Iran-Afghanistan desk. “A fully transparent investigation is needed to identify and punish those responsible for this targeted bombing. And it is not just the Afghan state, police and security services that must do everything possible to protect journalists and media. The international community must also take all necessary measures to protect journalists who are brave enough to work for international and local media.”
RSF also condemned the government’s inaction and the international community’s indifference, which in its view have contributed to the increase in the climate of terror in Afghanistan – terror targeting civil society activists, political actors and the military as well as journalists.
RSF has registered at least 20 threats against journalists and media since the start of the year.
Afghanistan is ranked 122nd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index.
Minister of Healthcare of Kazakhstan Alexei Tsoi has held talks with his Afghan counterpart Minister of Public Health Ahmad Osmani in a virtual format, reported the press service of Kazakh ministry.
At the onset of the meeting, Minister Tsoi extended his condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims of the terrorist act at the Kabul University and wished speedy recovery to those injured.
Alexei Tsoi went on to stress the importance of Kazakh-Afghani cooperation in the sphere of healthcare based on mutual respect and trust. It has become obvious especially amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic which can be defeated through joint and coordinated efforts, he said.
«We are keen to give a huge impulse to cooperation in the sphere of healthcare between our countries and propel this cooperation to a new level,» Tsoi said.
He proposed to step up bilateral cooperation in healthcare in such areas as development of medical personnel, medical education and science, pharmaceutical science, medical tourism, e-healthcare and many other areas.
Ahmad Osmani, in turn, thanked his Kazakhstani colleague for the meeting and expressed interest in the development of bilateral partnership.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Thursday reported 66 new positive cases of coronavirus out of 170 samples tested in the last 24 hours.
The ministry also reported ten deaths and 27 recoveries from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
The cumulative number of total cases is now 43,035 the number of total reported deaths is 1,605 and the total number of recoveries is 35,063.
The new cases were reported in Kabul, Kandahar, Balkh, Nimroz and Zabul provinces.
At least eight Afghan soldiers and seven Taliban insurgents were killed and 11 people wounded during clashes in Kunduz province early Friday, local officials said.
The clashes flared up after the Taliban group armed with guns and rocket launchers attacked on a security position in Imam Sahib district, triggering heavy clashes with the security forces, district chief Mahbubullah Sayeedi said.
The district chief did not provide further details, saying the attack was repulsed by the security forces.
In the meantime, Mohammad Yousuf Ayubi, provincial council chief, said that eight troops, including army and police, and seven militants were killed during the three-hour gunfight.
“Six troops and five militants were injured in the district in the northern part of the province, 250 km north of Kabul,” he added.
The Afghan Civil Aviation Authority (ACAA) has started the survey work in Dasht-e-Shibarto area of Bamyan where the province’s second airport will be built.
As per Wasdam, the project will help facilitate domestic flights and improve the tourism sector.
Bamiyan is one of the main tourist attractions in Afghanistan, largely due to the giant destroyed Buddha statues. It’s also one of the most picturesque regions in the country.
Among its top attractions is Band-e-Amir, the country’s first national park, created in 2009.
Bamiyan is also trying to position itself as a destination for winter sports through the Afghan Ski Challenge. The race in February 2015 included 30 participants from Afghanistan and 20 international competitors from the US, Australia, Norway, Slowenia, Finland, New Zealand, France and the UK.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to pay a one-day visit to Afghanistan this week over the invitation of the Afghan president.
As per details, the Pakistani prime minister will discuss the Afghan peace process and bilateral ties with the top Afghan leadership. However, the date of his visit has not been made public due to security reasons.
On November 12, Afghan ambassador to Pakistan met COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa and discussed issues related to security and Afghan peace process.
The Afghan envoy’s visit comes amid the ongoing intra-Afghan talks. Pakistan has played a key role in taking the peace process between the Afghan government and the Taliban forward.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that successful culmination of the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process is indispensable for Afghanistan and for regional peace.
The Taliban had threatened an Afghan reporter who was killed in a car bomb attack this week for investigating their attacks, Human Rights Watch said.
Radio Liberty reporter Aliyas Dayee, 33, was killed on Thursday when a sticky bomb attached to his car exploded in the southern city of Lashkar Gah, the scene of intense fighting in recent months.
Targeted killings of prominent figures, including journalists, clerics, politicians and rights activists, have become more common in recent months as violence surges in Afghanistan, despite ongoing peace talks between the government and the Taliban.
No group has so far claimed the killing of Dayee.
But Dayee recently told HRW that he had received death threats, warning him to stop his reporting on Taliban military operations, it said.
“The Taliban had searched his house, questioned him about his movements, and asked local residents to report on his behaviour,” journalists who knew Dayee told HRW, the statement added.
“The night before he was killed, Dayee had emailed a colleague saying he believed his life was in danger.”
Dayee had been “explicitly” warned not to report on the Taliban’s operations in the province or that the group was “violating the agreement” it signed with Washington in February, that paved the way for withdrawing American forces from Afghanistan, HRW said.
The rights watchdog said dozens of Afghan journalists have been threatened by the Taliban in recent months.
“The killing of Aliyas Dayee simply for doing his job sends a chilling message to the Afghan media that reporting on the Taliban puts them in grave danger,” Patricia Gossman, associate Asia director at HRW, said.
“This brutal killing of a journalist is nothing more than a cold-blooded execution and raises serious doubts about the protection of free expression in any peace deal with the Taliban,” she continued.
Dayee’s murder comes after Yama Siawash, a former Afghan television presenter, was killed on Saturday in a similar bomb attack in Kabul.
The Pak-Afghan authorities and business community have agreed on the promotion of bilateral trade through Torkham by allowing the entry of empty containers from the Afghan side of the border.
As per TheNews report, the consensus was reached between the business communities of both countries in a meeting.
The participants of the meeting unanimously decided that 4000 empty containers of Pak-Afghan transit trade stranded on the Afghan side and paying US$ 150 on daily basis in the head of detention charges would be cleared from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am on daily basis to reach Karachi while export and Afghan transit trade goods will enter Afghanistan from Pakistan.
Similarly, from 6am to 10pm was specified for the entry of the exports of Afghanistan including fresh fruit, vegetables, transit to India and other goods.
An estimated number of 1000 trucks will enter Pakistan on a daily basis.