Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The National Directorate of Security (NDS) said they had killed the chief justice of Islamic State in Khorasan Province (IS-K) during a complex operation.
On Tuesday, the NDS said Abdullah Orakzai, the chief justice of IS-K and the commander of the Nazi-Achin war in Nangarhar, and also the deputy of the intelligence chief for the group, had been killed.
The sophisticated and targeted operation was part of the NDS’ new and comprehensive plan to arrest and eliminate leaders of regional and international terrorist groups.
According to the statement, Orakzai, had issued many fatwas against civilians, including the beheading and even forced marriages of civilian girls to IS-K fighters.
Orakzai, with the technical cooperation of the Taliban, was also responsible for the attack on the Nangarhar Prison in Jalalabad, earlier this month.
Ghor officials confirmed that Murghab district in the province has been overrun by the Taliban and security forces have now launched operations to retake the area.
Abdul Maaruf Ramesh, spokesperson for the Ghor Police Command, said on Tuesday, that the Taliban had launched an offensive in the Murghab district of the province in the past day, causing the security forces to retreat to prevent civilian casualties.
Still, three security forces had been killed and four wounded in clashes on Monday, along with four Taliban insurgents.
“This morning, a joint operation was launched by commandos, special forces and the Afghan National Police, and they have made significant progress,” he added.
Progress was being made to recapture all the areas which had been lost to the Taliban in the district.
Meanwhile, the Murghab police chief and all security forces had temporarily relocated the district center to the Somag area in the Dawlat Yar district of Ghor.
The number of people infected with the coronavirus in Afghanistan reached 37,719.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) reported 43 new cases of Coronavirus in Afghanistan were detected in the past 24 hours, as the tally reached 37,719 confirmed cases.
New cases were reported in the provinces of Herat (29), Kabul (12), Balkh (1) and Badakhshan (1).
The MoPH also said that four people had died and four recovered from the virus, bringing those figures to 1,381 deaths and 27,316 recoveries.
Abdullah Abdullah said that on the occasion of the 101st anniversary of Afghanistan’s independence, the establishment of peace and stability is closer than ever with the first meeting of the intra-Afghan talks set to take place in the coming days.
Honouring the martyrs who stood up against the British Empire to fight for the country’s independence, the chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, congratulated the people on Tuesday.
“The children of this region are still fighting and sacrificing in the strongholds of the fight against terrorism, for the freedom and protection of the national honour,” he said, pointing to the ongoing resistance and war against terrorism.
However, Abdullah noted, “On the 101st anniversary of the country’s independence, the people of Afghanistan are closer than ever to the end of 42 years of conflict and the establishment of peace and stability.”
“We expect to make the most of the opportunity and work honestly and selflessly for lasting peace,” he said about the intra-Afghan talks.
At least five civilians were killed and seven others wounded in mortar shelling in a residential area of Ghazni’s Andar district on Monday night.
Wahidullah Jumazadah, spokesperson for the provincial governor said that the clashes between security forces and Taliban insurgents started at around 9:30 pm in the Lagharo area.
A mortar shell was fired during the fight and hit a residential house.
The dead included three women and two children from the same family. One of the victims was a woman who was getting married on Friday, Jumazadah said.
It was unclear which side had fired the rocket and investigations are underway.
However, the Taliban denied responsibility and called it a “war crime.”
Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai, in his Independence Day message on Tuesday, said that the Afghan people will not accept any more excuses for delaying the peace process.
Karzai said that while the wishes of Afghan ancestors for a free, proud and united nation was fulfilled when Afghanistan achieved independence, it was marred once again when “foreigners” invaded the country.
“There has been a bloody and destructive war in this land for many years, a war in which the people of Afghanistan are being sacrificed and our land is being destroyed on an ongoing basis,” the former president wrote on Facebook.
He added that the realization of peace, stability and destiny of the people should have been the result of all the sacrifices, but that did not come to pass.
“Fortunately, after all this suffering, the prospect of peace is clearer than ever these days,” Karzai writes.
According to him, the people of Afghanistan will not accept any excuse for delaying the peace talks, from any Afghan or foreign part and only through intra-Afghan talks, understanding and acceptance of responsibility, peace and stability can be achieved.
“The continuation of this conflict and violence is in fact in the interests of others,” he writes.
“The people aspire to a lasting peace in Afghanistan, in which all its inhabitants, men and women, can participate in their political and social life without discrimination, and no foreigner has the right to interfere,” he emphaized.
The former president has been vocal about removing foreign influence from Afghanistan and making the country self-reliant.
Several rockets struck Kabul on Tuesday, including near the main diplomatic district, officials said.
“Around 9:30 am today, several rockets were fired from two fast-moving vehicles,” Ministry of Interior spokesperson Tariq Arian said.
Blasts shook the diplomatic quarters around Wazir Akbar Khan and Sherpur area of the 8th and 17th districts of Kabul city centre, which was quickly placed under lockdown.
Social media accounts of workers said they quickly took cover after hearing loud explosions.
It was not immediately clear whether there were any casualties or who was behind the attack, which took place on Afghanistan’s independence day.
Early reports indicate at least 10 people may be wounded.
The U.S. military has made about $2 million in condolence payments to civilians in Afghanistan over the past five years, according to Pentagon data accessed by The Washington Post.
The record of the “ex gratia payments” showed that the amount of condolence offerings peaked in 2016, when nearly 300 payments totalling $1.4 million were made.
Giving money to the victims of war, to families of local partner forces killed in action and for destruction of civilian property, are part of the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan.
The military’s uneven and opaque handling of such payments means that sums ranging from $131 to $40,000 were paid.
The new data, which details payments from 2015 to 2018, provides insights into the Pentagon policy as they work on developing the first-ever military-wide policy on preventing and responding to civilian casualties.
The new regulations, which will be finalized by early 2021, will legally define the obligations of the U.S. military in areas of combat.