It has been reported that a fire hit the Khair Khwa electronics market which lies along Nadir Pashtun road in Kabul.
Police informed 1TvNews that firefighters reached the scene on time and the situation is now under control.
US Ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass while addressing before the international day to end impunity on crimes against journalists, said that “journalists should be able to do their work without fear of violence, intimidation or threat. Simple concept. Should be effectively implemented everywhere around the world, but as all of you know, and as we have painfully seen here in Afghanistan this year, it is not a concept that is respected everywhere or is achieved everywhere.”
Mr Bass spoked of how on the World Press Freedom Day, they were saddened and grieving at the loss of those killed while covering the attack on Shash Darak, and added “Unfortunately since then several more of your colleagues have been lost as they tried to cover stories of consequence here in Afghanistan to both Afghans and to citizens and people around the world.”
Ambassador Bass also pointed that 18 journalists were killed in Afghanistan this year alone and many others were wounded.
He finally commended the role of journalists towards truth and saluted their efforts and work.
Around 60 kilograms of heroin has been found and seized along with five people who were found trafficking the heroin. The 5 people have now been detained in central Parwan province.
Police chief Mohammad Mahfuz Walizad informed Pajhwok Afghan News that the drugs were concealed on the roof of a passenger vehicle when they were found and that the smugglers were trying to transfer the drugs to Kabul.
The UN has reported that between May 2018 and August 2018, there were 5800 security incidents which was a 10% decline from the same period last year. SIGAR believes that this may have been due to the Afghan government and Taliban’s Eid ceasefires.
Armed clashes continued to cause most security incidents within the above category (61%) as per UN estimates.
The worrying trend is that of increase in suicide attacks which have increased by 38% since 2017. Even airstrikes have increased by 46%.
Specifically, UN expressed concerns in terms of security instability for the northern provinces of Afghanistan: Balkh, Faryab and Jowzjan provinces.
The meeting led the ANSDF to take comprehensive measures to ensure the security in the area. The authorities were also directed to send urgent humanitarian aid to the area.
This comes after Vice President Danish spoke about the matter in his address today in which he said that the people of Uruzgan must stand up for themselves and fight for honour. The Speaker of the Wolesi Jirga Ibrahimi also brought attention to the violence by Taliban in Uruzgan to call on the government so that there are measures taken.
The quarterly report by SIGAR has brought attention to the ANDSF casualties under Taliban pressure to point that these developments have”spurred questions for the Department of Defense officials”. Commander of the US Central Command Gen Votel confirmed that the ANDSF casualties this year had soared viz last year.
Resolute Support’s statement pointed to a pattern of these casualties, “Trends indicate that number of checkpoint casualties have increased while the number of patrol casualties has decreased.”
As per “unclassified” data referred to by SIGAR, it was found that the ANDSF had not made much ‘progress’ in pressuring the Taliban and in fact failed to gain greater control of some districts and territories.
When it comes to control or influence of Afghan government over districts in general, the SIGAR report found that since 2015, the number has been lowest ever (55.5%).
But ANDSF has also struggled to keep up its personnel strength, decreasing by 1914 people since last quarter and 8827 since last year. Department of Defense, when asked, cited reasons as personnel killed in action, absentee issue, or declining rate of reenlisting.
The silver lining amongst this data found by SIGAR was the successes by forces against the IS-K.
SIGAR has quoted Resolute Support estimates in its quarterly report’s chapter on security, to bring to light that of the 407 districts in Afghanistan, as of July 31, 2018, 226 of them were under Afghan government’s control or influence. This figures at 55.5% control/influence.
Why this was significant is because SIGAR noted that the trend was a slight decline since last quarter by a margin of 0.7%.
The good part is that insurgent control also decreased, where a total of 49 districts were under insurgent control or influence. This numbers to 12% of all districts.
All this makes the number of contested districts (those that come under influence or control of neither government nor insurgents) stand at 132 which is 32.4%. This category has seen an increase of 10 districts.
The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction in their latest quarterly report have reiterated that the narcotics economy in Afghanistan which despite giving more revenue to farmers, benefits the Taliban as well, has “become an existential threat to the Afghan state”.
In the “Lessons Learnt Report” section of the SIGAR document, it was pointed out that from 2006 to 2016, the cultivation of poppy has increased by 69%.
Calling on the US government for an effective counternarcotics strategy in Afghanistan, the SIGAR report also emphasises on deviating the financial flows out of poppy cultivation away from insurgents and terrorist groups while combating drug related corruption.
Another crucial step to be taken as per the report is to channelise the energies and effort of current poppy cultivators into alternative and safe means of livelihoods.
Security officials have reported that 29 terrorists have been killed or wounded in Ghazni province.
According to a statement by Ministry of Defence on Thursday, as a result of the cleaning operations of the security forces over the past 24 hours in the Qara Bagh, Abband, Waghaz, Andar, Gilan and Dehyak districts of Ghazni, 19 insurgents were killed and 10 others wounded.
A woman in Rostaq district of Takhar province has been arrested by her police for killing her own two children.
Provincial police officials confirmed that she did this after having an argument with her husband, and also informed that the children were eight and four years old respectively.
Indonesia’s Director General of Air Transportation has confirmed that the black box of the crashed Lion Air Jet has been retrieved. One of the two boxes have been retrieved as told to CNN, but not confirmed which one. He also told that it will take two to three weeks to read the data, and a further two to three months to analyze it and added that “some parts” of the plane’s fuselage has been found as well.
On Tuesday, a Lion Air jet crashed minutes within taking off from Jakarta airport. The plane was a Boeing 737 MAX number JT610. All 189 people on board were confirmed to be dead as the crash only left debris.
With the black box of the plane now found, there shall be more information as to the reason(s) for the crash.
203 Thunder Corps have announced that three senior Taliban commanders, including the Deputy shadow governor of Taliban for Ghazni, have been killed in Ghazni.
As a result of a coalition forces air strike in Andar, Abband and Moqur districts of Ghanzi, 12 people, including the deputy shadow governor known as Dawud Lang, as well as commander of the military chief of Taliban Red Unit, Abdullah and another senior commander Darukhan, were killed as per the statement.
The statement also added that one insurgent was killed and five others wounded in the vicinity of Niazai area in the province.
It has been reported by the police to 1TVNews that six people have been injured after a gas tanker exploded in the border town of Islam Qala in Herat province.
The incident happened on Thursday morning.
The Presidential Office (ARG) reported on Wednesday on the joint meeting of electoral commissions, NUG leaders and National and ambassadors of the election supporting countries.
According to the ARG statement, the president said at the meeting that despite all the ambiguities and conspiracies, parliamentary elections were successfully carried out.
President Ghani praised the security and defense forces of the country for ensuring the security of this national process, broad turnout of the people and the participation of respectable candidates.
President Ghani also emphasized at the meeting that “candidates want their votes to be protected, and people and candidates want the announcement of the results to be made clear on a timetable with the people.”
This comes after there have been multiple statements by the IECC on the “mismanaged” elections.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced and begun an initiative in which new mothers of the Mir Bacha Kot district in Kabul have been receiving a tool to do family planning and protect their newborn babies. This is thanks to “an all-in-one maternal and child health home-based handbook.”
“The maternal and child health handbook was very well accepted by providers and families during the pilot phase. The Ministry has approved to scale up this project nationwide. JICA and UNICEF have allocated US$ 10 million for gradual implementation during the next 4 years,” said Dr Paata Chikvaidze, WHO’s Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health medical officer in Afghanistan.
Now the Ministry of Public Health has agreed to allow the program to be carried out all over the the country.
More than 10,000 numbers of the handbooks have been distributed since being introduced in Mir Bacha Kot district in June 2017 – as part of a pilot phase.
Now that the pilot phase was a success, the project is set to start and spread all over the country.