Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) said on Wednesday, they were concerned about the casualties in targeted attacks.
“Targeted attacks are one of the bloodiest tactics in the current war, and casualties have been a serious concern,” wrote AIHRC on Twitter.
The rights commission said that such attacks “ignore” international humanitarian law that protects civilians in armed conflict.
They noted that the AIHRC was documenting recent attacks and expect the Afghan government to identify the perpetrators.
The government’s peace negotiating team member Fawzia Koofi, was shot by unidentified gunmen in the Qarabagh district of Kabul on Aug. 14.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said that 40 new cases of Coronavirus were reported across Afghanistan in the past 24 hours, bringing the national tally of confirmed cases to 37,759.
The samples tested positive for the virus in the provinces of Herat (28), Farah (6), Badghis (3), Balkh (2) and Nangarhar (1).
The MoPH reported two deaths and no new recoveries in the past day.
Thus, Afghanistan currently has 9,060 active cases of COVID-19, along with 1,383 fatalities and 27,316 recoveries.
Coinciding with the 101st anniversary of Afghanistan’s independence, the Ministry of Interior announced that the casualties of Tuesday’s rocket attack in Kabul city had increased to three killed and 16 wounded.
While COVID-19 dampened the scale of celebrations, the government had still taken special measures to hold small ceremonies across the provinces amid heightened security.
While in most provinces, the day went without any security incidents, Kabul witnessed widespread rocket attack from moving vehicles, despite the special security measures and the heavy presence of forces on the roads.
Ministry of Interior spokesperson Tariq Arian said on Wednesday, that three people had been killed and 16 wounded in the incident.
The fatalities included two government employees and six civilians were among the injured, including four children and a woman.
Arian said 14 rockets were fired from two high-speed vehicles in Kabul’s District 1, 2, 9, 10 and 16, at around 9:35 am. He said most mortar shells hit residential houses.
He added that suspects had been arrested from PD 17 in connection with the incident.
Witnesses also reported that some rockets had struck near the presidential palace and the Wazir Akbar Khan neighbourhood which lies in the diplomatic area.
Later in the day, IS-K has claimed responsibility for the rocket attack, but the Ministry of Interior had blamed the Taliban.
U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said that Afghan leaders from both parties, would have to put their country first and reach a political agreement.
In a series of tweets, on early Wednesday, wishing Afghanistan on its Independence Day, Khalilzad said that Afghans yearn for peace and the country was “at a hopeful stage” of ending the decades long war and conflict.
“Afghans yearn for peace and soon Afghan-owned and Afghan-led negotiations should start, a historic and vital step,” he wrote.
“Afghan leaders from all sides will have to rise to the occasion, put their country first, learn from past mistakes and reach a political agreement. That is the road to ending the war and a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire,”
Writing on the occasion of the 101st Independence Day, the envoy said it was a day where all Afghans take pride in.
“The U.S. joins Afghans in celebrating their independence and will stand with them in their struggle to forge a sustainable peace. We wish Afghanistan independence and peace,” he concluded his message.