Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
A spokesman for the Samangan police confirmed to Reporterly that around 9 am today, a number of insurgents in Khosh Dara area of Dara-e-Suf Payin district, blocked the road to Mazar-e-Sharif and abducted six drivers of coal trucks while setting fire to two coal trucks.
Abdul Munir Rahimi continued saying that the police were deployed to the area in time and after the clash, the terrorists fled from the area and opened the path to the passengers.
There are still no further details of the incident due to the lack of telephone service in the area, and the police chief of the district is in now present in the area, he added.
A spokesman for the governor of Herat, confirmed to Reporterly that on Thursday morning an explosion occurred in Chesht-e-Sharif district of this province.
The event was triggered by the explosion of a a mortar shell, according to Jilani Farhad.
Four people were killed and three were injured in the incident, he added.
In a statement on social media, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad announced that he met with President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah on Wednesday night.
Khalilzad concluded talks with KSA, UAE and Taliban at Abu Dhabi on Tuesday and he paid a brief visit to Islamabad on Wednesday. His last leg of current visit to the region is Kabul where he landed on Wednesday night, to brief the officials and leaders about the dialogue at Abu Dhabi and status of peace negotiations.
Ambassador Khalilzad is set to meet more stakeholders today, as his statement added “Looking forward to meeting with civil society & youth leaders, political party leaders & other stakeholders today”.
Da Afghanistan Breshna Shirkat (DABS) has informed that Kabul’s main power supply has been cut off in Baghlan province.
Breshna explained in a statement that the 220-KV double-circuit transmission line imported from Uzbekistan, which transmitted 300 MW of electricity to Kabul, was cut off last night in the Zamankhil area of Pul-e-Khumri district of Baghlan province.
The first line was shut down at around 9 o’clock on Wednesday night and the second at around 3:30 on Thursday morning; hence, it has plunged large swathes of Kabul into darkness, according to the statement.
Breshna added that the technical teams of the company are present with the help of security forces in the affected area and the work on re-linking has begun.
According to technical teams, the line will be re-connected by the end of the day.
UN OCHA released their weekly field report which estimates that on 12 December, 2,100 people (300 families) were airlifted from Sar-e-Hawz villages of Pashtun-Kot to Maymana city. Also, roads leading to Jaghori and Malistan in Ghazni were shut by NSAG which halts the return process.
Based on initial reports, 15,200 people were displaced in the past week.
A total of 325,200 people have been verified as displaced by conflict in 2018, the report notes.
There were conflict displacement alerts given for Sabari, Musa Khel districts of Khost province as well as from Sayad Karam and Jani Khel districts in Paktya province, and Logar province, & Helmand’s Babajee to Lashkargah, Bolan and Nahresiraj. Further alerts were for Kunar’s Asadabad, Chawkayi, Sarkani, Narang, Marawara, Khaskunar, Barkunar districts.
Former NSA Hanif Atmar’s spokesperson released a statement on twitter which said that “We observe and monitor the efforts underway by US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad as the talks with Taliban are ongoing to end the 17 years long conflict. We look at these efforts with a sense of appreciation and gratefulness. We believe that Mr Khalilzad’s efforts will be fruitful”.
The statement also read that the former NSA calls on Taliban representatives to begin discussions with the Afghan side, as ultimately the ‘proprietorship’ of peace and negotiations belongs to Afghanistan and its nation.
The United States Trump administration on Wednesday announced a pull out of their troops from Syria, a decision that came with confusion and shock to US Allies.
A White House official who briefed reporters on the decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria did not say how many have come home so far, of what the timeline is or when others will be leaving, the CNN reported.
The official referred several questions to US Department of Defense.
Trump first hinted at such a move with a Wednesday morning tweet: “We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump presidency.”
He then followed up with a video announcement on Wednesday evening: “We’ve beaten them and we’ve beaten them badly. We’ve taken back the land and now it’s time for our troops to come back home.”
This was despite his senior military officials advising against the decision.
This comes after a news broke out on Wednesday that the ISIS killed scores of people it captured.
The Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistani Military Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa met with the U.S. Special Advisor for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad on the latter’s visit to Pakistan.
Major General Asif Ghafoor, a spokesman for the Military of Pakistan announced that Ambassador Khalilzad called Chief of Army Staff Gen. Bajwa to discuss regional security and Afghan peace process.
“Visiting dignitary appreciated Pakistan’s efforts for Afghan peace process,” Gen. Ghafoor added.
It was also added that the Chief of Army Staff of the Military of Pakistan reassured to Khalilzad that peace in Afghanistan is important for Pakistan and there will be continued efforts for bringing peace and stability in the region.
The Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) on Wednesday announced that there would be key changes in the final list of winners of the October 20 parliamentary elections.
“Without doubt… after complaints and investigation… there is a possibility some changes will occur in the preliminary list,” said IECC spokesman, Ali Reza Rouhani.
The announcement added that those who had been declared as winners in the preliminary results of the elections were not the final entrants to Wolesi Jirga.
Meanwhile, officials from the Independent Election Commission (IEC) have expressed that the commission expects to announce the preliminary list of the remaining provinces including Kabul by early next week. 29 provinces’ preliminary results for parliamentary elections have been declared so far.