Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The Nangarhar National Directorate of Security (NDS) arrested three members of IS-K (Daesh), including a man responsible for transporting the group’s explosives.
In a statement released on Tuesday, NDS said they had detained the men in operations carried out by special forces in the Shulana area of Chaparhar district on Monday night.
Among those detained is Sabawoon, known as Mansour, who was responsible for transport explosives for the IS-K, NDS claimed.
They also arrested two other people, and also seized a pistol, a vest, three Kalashnikov rifles, two digital cameras and opium.
On Monday, NDS also announced the arrest of an IS-K operative who was associated with the Nangarhar prison attack.
At the same time, NDS claimed they had also arrested 15 Taliban members who were part of a targeted killing network in Kabul.
The men would work in group of four or five people and allegedly carry out assassinations of Afghan security personnel and prominent political and civic leaders.
President Ashraf Ghani met Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at a luncheon hosted at the Amiri Diwan on Tuesday afternoon.
“We welcome you dear brother and your delegation to Doha. We hope our joint efforts will help Afghanistan find peace and stability,” the Emir said.
Presidential Palace spokesperson Sediq Sediqqi said that both sides expressed interest in enhancing bilateral ties, economic cooperation and strengthening, and exploring opportunities for investment in Afghanistan.
The Emir said Qatar was ready to expand bilateral ties and form a joint delegation to start working towards it.
Ghani thanked the Emir and said, “We are ready to work on issues that increase cooperation and relations between the two countries.”
He added that Afghanistan has good relations with Central Asian nations who are already investing in Afghan products.
“We want Afghan products to reach Qatari markets and we also want to invest in the natural gas, mining and renewable energy sectors,” the president said.
Ghani also praised Qatar’s hospitality and support for the peace process in Afghanistan.
Laghman officials said on Tuesday, a man shot and killed his father before turning the gun on himself in the Badpash district.
Assadullah Dawlatzai, spokesperson for the Laghman governor, said the incident occurred on Monday evening.
Investigation indicate family problems and Dawlatzai did not provide further details.
In the past 24 hours, 372 suspected Coronavirus samples have been tested across Afghanistan, of which 64 were found to be positive, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said.
The new cases were reported in the provinces of Kabul (35), Herat (28) and Kandahar (1), bringing the Afghan tally of confirmed cases to 39,486.
According to the MoPH, 98 people with COVID-19 recovered in the past day, while one succumbed to the virus.
There are 5,042 active cases within the country, with 32,977 recovered and 1,467 deaths.
The Primary Court Of Crime Against Internal and External Security in Kabul’s PD3 on Tuesday, gave out death sentences to three men and a woman charged with kidnapping leading to murder.
The Office of the Attorney General (AGO) said the four death row convicts were members of a group of seven people. They were identified as Shazia, Ahmadullah, Bator, Mohibullah, Sherbaz, Sharifullah and Dilawar.
Among them, Bator is the son of the director of the Counter-Terrorism Department while Mohibullah’s father is in the Paktia Police.
The court handed the death sentence to Bator, Ahmadullah, Shazia and Mohibullah, while the other three were acquitted. However, Sherbaz was sentenced to two years in prison on another charge.
The court said that the bodies of three of the victims were found in the courtyard of a house that was rented by Bator, Ahmadullah, Mohibullah and Shazia in PD7. The fourth body was found in PD8, in a house where Dilawar, Shazia, Ahmadullah and Sharifullah were living.
The prosecutor said that Ahmadullah had forced Shazia, a 20-year-old married woman from Paktia, to move to Kabul and live with them. He also coerced Shazia into inviting other people to their home where he would rob them and kill them.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said 125 Taliban fighters in Balkh and 150 in Sar-i-Pul submitted their weapons to the Afghan security forces and joined the peace process on Monday.
“Taliban fighters laid down their arms following efforts made by Chahar Kint district [of Balkh] Governor Salima Mazari and the tribal elders in the area,” the statement by the 209 Shaheen Corps said.
The Taliban members who submitted their weapons to the army in Balkhab district of Sar-i-Pul also committed to “continue living peacefully” the MoD claimed.
Local officials expressed hope that this would help the security situation in the districts.
Afghanistan’s top leaders are visiting regional nations to strengthen consensus and garner support for the peace talks.
President Ashraf Ghani met the Prime Minister of Qatar Skeikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdul Aziz Al Thani in Doha on Monday, the Presidential Palace said.
Both sides discussed further strengthening mutual ties and enhancing bilateral economic cooperation, Afghanistan’s peace process and other issues of significance.
Sheikh Al Thani described their relations as “two friendly and brother countries” and stressed Qatar wanted “sustainable peace, stability and prosperity” in Afghaistan.
Ghani said Afghanistan is pursuing friendly relationship grounded on mutual interests with regional and global countries. He attached particular importance to further expansion of relations between Afghanistan and Islamic countries as they share common values and principles.
Abdullah in India
Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, left for an official visit to New Delhi on Tuesday.
In a series of tweets, his office said Abdullah will meet the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, and deliver a keynote speech at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA).
Abdullah said he will “exchange views” with the Indian leaders on the Afghan Peace Process, the ongoing peace talks in Doha, regional support for the process, and bilateral relations between the two countries.
“India is a strategic partner of Afghanistan and has continuously supported the government and people of Afghanistan. Our historical relations with India is very important to us, and the role of India in establishing a lasting peace in Afghanistan and the region is vital,” he said.