Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Mohammad Mohaqiq, the deputy of Peace and Moderation electoral team led by Hanif Atmar has confirmed that disagreements in this team over the Prime Minister position stalled their election campaigns.
After reports emerged about the disagreements of the members of this electoral team, this is the first time that Mohaqiq in an interview with Tolo News has confirmed the existence of disagreements.
“It is a fact that there have been arguments over the Prime Minister position about whether we should have it or not and it was not mutually agreed upo. The damage was that the election campaign came to a halt,” he said.
Mohaqiq noted that the Prime Ministerial position was not the only issue, but ther were other factors too for the stoppage of the team’s electoral activities. He added that a final decision will soon be made on dissolving, boycotting or continuing the team’s campaign.
“We have not yet dissolved this team. Eid came, and the elders and other members of the team including Atmar went on holiday. After they return, we would sit down again and finish the chat about what to do; if we decided to continue, we would continue or boycott the elections. And if everyone decides to go their own way, we will still have a better way,” Mohaqiq added.
The deputy of Peace and Moderation team declared that some Presidential candidates have shown interest for joining of Ata Mohammad Noor and Younis Qanoni to their teams and possibly they will join one of the teams.
This comes as the United People’s Party of Afghanistan , led by Vahidullah Sabawon, also announced departure from Atmar’s team in a letter.
Previously, sources within Mohammad Ashraf Ghani’s election team had reported the possibility of Mohammad Hanif Atmar’s joining Ghani’s electoral team, but Atmar’s office has not confirmed it.
United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan released a statement on Wednesday that it was gravely concerned about reports showing that 11 civilians had been killed in a security forces’ operation in Paktia Province.
“UNAMA is gravely concerned by reports indicating 11 civilians killed during Eid by pro-government search operation in Paktia”, the Tweet said. It was also added that monitoring by human rights team for accountability is essential and that any harm to civilians must stop.
Yesterday, the residents of Zurmat claimed that 11 people were killed in operations of NDS forces at a night raid in Zurmat district of Paktia. However, the NDS had earlier announced that the operation in Paktia province had targeted a Taliban hideout and 11 insurgents were killed.
The Afghan Special Forces have arrested a key Haqqani network member during an operation in Kabul city. The Ministry of Interior (MoI) said in a statement that the Special Forces of the Afghan National Police conducted the raid in the 9th district of Kabul.
The statement further added that the detained Haqqani network member has been identified as Sardar Mohammad alias Khalifa Daud. Furthermore, the interior ministry said Sardar was responsible for facilitating the supply of weapons, munitions and military kits to Taliban and other militants.
Two top Police officials of Bamyan province have been accused of raping a girl, security officials said on Wednesday.
Muhammad Reza Yousufi, spokesman of Bamyan Police told Reporterly, “The commander of base and the commander of recuirting unit of Police were accused of raping a girl on the second day of Eid Al-Adha after hosting her”.
Yousufi said, the victim has claimed that the two commanders raped her after the party. According to him, the accused officials have escaped and are possibly in Kabul. The victim is secure in Bamyan.
Provincial officials have said that 6 Taliban insurgents were killed in Ghazni province. As a result of airstrike and clashes between security forces and Taliban in the surroundings of Nawa, Moqor and Qarabagh districts of the province, 6 Taliban insurgents were killed and 7 others were wounded, Ghazni press office said in a statement on Wednesday.
The statement added, no harm was inflicted on security forces and civilians in the clashes. Meanwhile, during Eid days, security forces in the province succeeded in preventing Taliban insurgents attack on security outpoints in the center of Ghazni and Deh Yak and Qarabagh districts.
The forces also defused three planted mine of Taliban group, the statement said. A security personnel was also injured in clashes at security checkpoints during Eid days in Ghazni.
Provincial officials in Kapisa province have said that as a result of a mortar attack in a residential home, 7 civilians were killed and wounded. Taliban group attacked on security forces outposts in Jalokhel area of Tagab district, provincial spokesperson Qais Qadiri told Reporterly on Wednesday.
Qadiri added, no harm was inflicted on security forces during the clashes, but 3 civilians were killed and 4 others were injured when the mortar shell fired by Taliban insurgents hit a civilian house. The identities of the individuals killed and wounded in the incident are not clear whether women and children are among them or not.
Security officials have reported the arrest of two key IS-K terrorists in Nangarhar province.
The Ministry of Interior in a statement said on Tuesday that as a result of an operation by the police special unit which was carried out on Sunday night in the surroundings of Bati Kot district of the province, two key IS-K members were detained.
Two Kalashnikov, one pistol and some ammunition were also seized by security forces, the statement said. The statement further added, Abdulrahman alias Talha, who was in charge of making mine and suicide vest was one of the detainees.
The US-led Train Advise Assist Command-Air mission in Afghanistan might not have effectively trained Afghan forces to perform airdrops and airstrikes on their own, according to a new Pentagon watchdog report.
The Defense Department Inspector General in a report published on August 12th, pointed that the Afghans’ inability to coordinate airdrops “increases the risk that [Afghan National Defense and Security Forces] units operating in areas without airfields or helicopter landing zones will not receive critical supplies.”
Additionally, the inability of air liaison officers to coordinate strikes could end up in an increase in unsuccessful air-to-ground missions, as well as an increased risk of civilian casualties and fratricide, the report highlighted.
The DOD watchdog added that TAAC-Air did not ensure that contractor-developed curriculum was detailed enough for the Afghan air liaison officers those contractors train.
For future, the Inspector General recommended that NATO Air Command and TAAC-Air improve Afghan training by developing a plan with specific objectives and milestones to measure those forces’ air-to-ground capability.
Fragments from 4th-century Buddhist sculptures are among 843 objects that will be returned from the British Museum in London to the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul.
The fragments, which include 9 heads and a torso, were intercepted by British authorities in 2002 while being illegally smuggled into the country from Pakistan. The fragments were looted from statues at Buddhist monasteries in what was once the ancient kingdom of Gandhara, now modern-day Pakistan and Afghanistan.
They were likely stolen at the height of the Taliban’s regime in 2001. After a long legal process, the artifacts were stored in the British Museum for “safekeeping and recording” and are now finally going to be returned to Afghanistan.
According to the Independent, the nine terracotta heads include a portrait of the Buddha, turbaned bodhisattvas, a bald monk, and, possibly, a depiction of Vajrapani, spiritual guide of the Buddha.
The fragments are from a time when Buddhism was dominant in what is now Afghanistan, when hundreds of monasteries were constructed. Most of the monasteries were abandoned upon the arrival of Islam in the 8thcentury. The return of these sculptures is “hugely important symbolically,” explained Simpson, because they are one of the largest groups of Buddhist art to be returned to Kabul.