Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
At least 11 civilians were wounded in Taliban’s rocket attacks in Badghis province on Tuesday, local officials said.
Farid Akhizi, a Provincial Council member of Badghis said that at least seven rockets by Taliban hit several parts of Qalay Naw city at around 13:00pm today.
He noted that the wounded were transferred to the provincial hospital.
However, security officials refused to provide further information about the incident.
The Taliban group has not commented on the incident so far.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Tuesday reported 1,928 new positive cases of coronavirus out of 104 samples tested in the last 24 hours.
The ministry also said no deaths from coronavirus were recorded and 94 recoveries from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
The cumulative number of total cases is now 54,854 the number of total reported deaths is 2,390 and the total number of recoveries is 47,459.
The new cases were reported in Kabul, Herat, Nangarhar, Kandahar, Balkh, Nimroz, wardak, Badghis, Laghman, Ghor, Kunar, Helmand, Farah, Khost, Paktika and Norstan provinces.
Mohammad-Ebrahim Taherian, the Iranian foreign minister’s special envoy for Afghanistan, has held extensive talks with a number of world diplomats on the Afghan peace process as a Taliban delegation arrives in Tehran.
According to Iranian media, Taherian discussed the latest Afghan developments in a Tuesday conversation with the UN secretary-general’s special representative for Afghanistan Deborah Lyons.
During the talks, the two sides conferred on the latest status of intra-Afghan negotiations, the peace process in Afghanistan, and the establishment of sustainable peace through diplomatic solutions.
Earlier on Monday, Taherian had discussed the issue with Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar as well as the German and Russian special envoys for Afghanistan.
In these conversations, the Iranian envoy underlined the necessity of reducing violence and the need for collaboration among the friends of Afghanistan in establishing sustainable peace through diplomatic solutions.
He also described intra-Afghan negotiations as the most appropriate way to end the crisis in Afghanistan and relieve the Afghan people’s pains, and expressed Tehran’s preparedness for any assistance in this regard.
Safiullah Amiri, deputy head of the Kunduz provincial council and his bodyguard were wounded in a blast on Tuesday morning, local media reported.
Muhammad Yusuf Ayoubi, the head of Kunduz Provincial Council said the blast happened in Haji Amiri valley in Kunduz city on Tuesday.
According to Ayoubi, an IED placed in a bicycle detonated when the vehicle of Amiri passed the area.
No group has claimed responsibility for the incident so far.
Kabul police say at least one person was killed in an IED explosion in PD5 of Kabul city today.
Ferdaws Faramarz, Kabul police spokesman, said that the explosion took place Adeh Ghazni area of PD5 in the capital at around 11:15 a.m. on Tuesday.
According to Faramarz, a Saracha type vehicle was targeted by an IED.
Faramarz noted that investigations are underway regarding the incident.
No individual or group has claimed responsibility for the blast.
Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar had a telephone conversation with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, Kang Kyung-Wha.
The Ministry of Foriegn Affairs (MoFA) in a statement said that the two Ministers discussed various issues of bilateral interest and the Afghan peace process.
According to the statement, FM Atmar appreciated the Republic of Korea for its generous assistance in the last 20 years and its latest contributions at the Geneva Conference for Afghanistan.
Foreign Minister Atmar touched on the second round of Afghanistan Peace Negotiations in Doha, the importance of reducing violence and the need for a comprehensive ceasefire, and preserving the democratic gains of the past two decades.
In the meantime, the Foreign Minister of Korea Kang Kyung-Wha reiterated Korea’s support for the Afghan peace process in Afghanistan.
The statement said that she assured Minister Atmar of Korea’s supports for Afghan people’s aspirations to preserve the Islamic Republic, protect human and women’s rights, and achieve a lasting peace.
“Both Ministers discussed strengthening bilateral relations, trade, capacity building programs, and increasing Korea’s scholarships for Afghanistan. Both agreed to assign a technical team to assess the expansion of bilateral cooperation,” the statement added.
The Korean Foreign Minister also invited Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar to participate in an international peacekeeping ministerial conference which will be organized in Korea late this year.
Dr. Alema, Deputy Minister for Human Rights and Civil Society Organizations of the State Ministry for Peace, met with officials of the Helmand Women’s Voice and Solidarity Organization and the Women’s Council of the 7th District of Kabul city in a joint online and in-person meeting.
The State Ministry for Peace Affairs in a press release said that during the meeting protecting the rights of women and war victims, women’s concerns and demands in the peace process, and achieving a ceasefire were discussed.
According to the press release, Dr. Alema expressed hope that the next meetings of the State Ministry for Peace with Helmand women would be held in person and that they would share their views and plans.
Dr. Alema emphasized that Helmand women, due to living in insecure areas, understand the sorrow of the people more than others and have a conscious and deep view regarding the peace process.
In the meantime, Helmandi women stressed that the people of Helmand want a sustainable and inclusive peace and expressed the hope that these meetings will be held on a regular basis to gain the views of the women of the provinces on the peace process.
A Taliban delegation led by the group’s deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar arrived in Iran today, the Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem said on Tuesday.
According to Naeem, the delegation is scheduled to meet Iranian officials and talk about the relations between the two countries, the situation of Afghan refugees, and the current political and security situation of Afghanistan and region.
This comes as President Ashraf Ghani in a cabinet meeting on Monday said a new chapter has been opened in Kabul and Washington relations and that the United States sees Afghanistan fundamentally as a partner.
With the inaguaration of the new US administration, the United States is reportedly expected to announce its stance on the Afghan peace process and the presence of NATO forces in Afghanistan at the ministerial meeting of the alliance next month.
Afghanistan and Pakistan have agreed to establish “border sustenance markets” in the two countries to boost local trade and economic activity in the border regions.
Afghan Foreign Minister Haneef Atmar had a telephone call with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday and discussed matters of mutual interests including the proposed establishment of Border Sustenance Markets (BSMs).
Highlighting Pakistan’s policy to strengthen trade between the two countries, Foreign Minister Qureshi drew Foreign Minister Atmar’s attention towards proposed establishment of Border Sustenance Markets.
The Ministry of Foriegn Affairs in a statement said that reiterating Pakistan’s consistent support to a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan, Qureshi underlined that the intra-Afghan negotiations provide a historic opportunity for the Afghan leadership to achieve an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement in Afghanistan.
During the call, Pakistani Foreign Minister Qureshi also raised the issue of Pakistani prisoners who had been languishing in Afghan jails over minor crimes. He expressed the hope that prisoners would be released as per the presidential decree, providing them an opportunity to return to their families.