Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad us now on his way to Doha, with a stop in Islamabad.
He tweeted on Wednesday, “In Doha, if the Taliban do their part, we will do ours, and conclude the agreement we have been working on.”
He concluded what he calls, his “most productive visit to Afghanistan since I took this job as Special Rep”, this week.
He added that the US and Afghanistan have agreed on next steps and that a negotiating team and technical support group are being finalized.
Security forces have reported that four Taliban insurgents were detained while they were getting enlisted for police service in Helmand province.
The Ministry of Interior in a statement said that the insurgents were attempting to get enlisted in police forces in Marja district of Helmand province.
The statement further added that they were arrested by the counter-terrorism police of Helmand before getting enlisted.
The detainees were planning to carry out terrorist attacks against ANP in Helmand province after getting enlisted. They were arrested based on intelligence information.
The National Directorate of Security has announced that three individuals, two of whom are Pakistani nationals, were arrested for plotting a suicide attack in Kunar province.
NDS in a statement said on Wednesday that the NDS Special Forces arrested the individuals during an operation in the surroundings of Asadabad city.
Ahmad, son of Ayoub Khan, who is originally a resident of Dir district was planning to facilitate a suicide attack with his Afghan counterpart Sadam, son of Habib, according to the statement.
The statement added the individual was looking to carry out the suicide attack against a security official in Asadabad city but was arrested by NDS forces before reaching target.
Meanwhile, the NDS said Qazi, one of the leaders of Taliban group, had appointed the 3-person network to facilitate and conduct the suicide attack.
The security forces also seized a suicide bombing vest and a pistol from the detained individuals, the National Directorate of Security said.
Kunduz Provincial Council has said that the Taliban has seized two outposts of security forces in the province, but the spokesperson of Kunduz governor rejected this report.
Amiruddin Wali, a member of Kunduz provincial council told Reporterly on Wednesday: “2 outposts of security forces fell to Taliban on Tuesday.”
A Humvee vehicle of security forces was destroyed and the forces also suffered causalities but there aren’t exact details about it, he added.
The member of provincial council said that security preparations to recapture the outposts are in place and soon will be implemented.
But Esmatullah Muradi spokesperson of Kunduz governor rejected the collapse of these outposts by Taliban and said that the air operation has been lunched to suppress the insurgents in the district.
Meanwhile, 217 Pamir Corps said in a statement that as a result of airstrike carried out on Tuesday night on a compound of Taliban Red Unit in Shuraroq village, Qalay-i-Zal district of Kunduz, 15 Taliban insurgents including 5 members of Red Unit of the group were killed.
The statement added that, 3 other insurgents including Qari Nematullah known as Mukhtar were injured in the operation.
As a result of ANDSF operations carried out in two districts of the province, 61 Taliban insurgents were killed including 21 Chechen, as per local officials.
Dedar Lawang Logar provincial spokesperson told Reporterly on Wednesday that: “as a result of Afghan forces air operation conducted on Tuesday night in Zaid Lala area of Charkh district, a commander and 12 Chechen members of Taliban group were killed along 4 local fighters of the group.”
He added that no harm was inflicted on civilians in the operation.
In a counter-attack of Afghan security forces backed by air forces carried out in Babora and Kharot areas of Azra district of the province, 45 Taliban insurgents were killed and 15 others wounded, Logar provincial spokesman said.
He added that in this operation a security personnel was killed and 8 others were injured.
The Pentagon on Tuesday identified the two US service members killed in Afghanistan earlier this week.
Pfc. Brandon Jay Kreischer, 20, of Stryker, Ohio, and Spc. Michael Isaiah Nance, 24, of Chicago died Monday from combat-related wounds, the Department of Defense said in a news release.
Kandahar police told CNN on Monday that an Afghan soldier had opened fire on the service members. A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousof Ahmadi, also confirmed the incident in a media message, saying the Afghan soldier had been wounded in the exchange of fire.
Reza Ardakanina, the Iranian Minister of Energy visited Kabul on Tuesday as he was leading his country’s delegation.
He expressed the readiness of his country to assist Afghanistan in infrastructure development and trade.
Mr. Ardakanina made the remarks in a meeting with Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, the Chief Executive Office said in a statement.
The statement further added that, the Minister of Energy of Iran praised the relations between the two countries in the meeting and emphasized on the development of cooperation in energy sector and optimal use of water in this field considering the climate change.
He stressed that Iran is ready to boost trade and also help Afghanistan in development of infrastructure.
Chief Executive Abdullah emphasized on joint cooperation in energy sector and improvement of infrastructure.
Meanwhile, Iran’s Energy Minister also met with President Ashraf Ghani and Acting Ministers of Ministry of Finance and Energy.
Security officials in Kandahar province have reported that two police personnel were injured in an embedded mine explosion near a checkpoint in Kandahar city.
Speaking to Reporterly, Abdul Basir Khaksar, the provincial deputy spokesperson said that two police personnel were wounded in an embedded mine explosion near a checkpoint in surrounding of PD9 Kandahar city.
He added that, there is no civilian causality as a result of the incident.
Meanwhile, the number of suicide and explosive attacks have mounted recently in the province and 23 people were killed and injured in a recent suicide attack carried out in Spin Boldak district of Kandahar.
United States is about to announce a renew in its sanctions waivers for five Iran nuclear programs that allow Russia, China and European countries to continue civilian nuclear cooperation with Iran, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
President Donald Trump, in an Oval Office meeting last week, sided with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin who argued for renewing the waivers over objections by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton, the Post said.
Mnuchin “argued to Trump that if the sanctions were not again waived as required by law by Aug. 1, the United States would have to sanction Russian, Chinese and European firms that are involved in projects inside Iran that were established as part of the 2015 nuclear deal,” the Post said, citing six unnamed officials.
The Afghanistan-China Joint Security Commission’s second meeting was held at National Security Council in Kabul.
As per ONSC, the two sides had detailed discussion on bilateral cooperation in areas of counter-terrorism, counter narcotics, border cooperation, & local governance.
The Commission decided to expand scope of its mandate to include economic and regional cooperation as well.
“Afghanistan views China as a key partner in the region and expansion of cooperation important in establishing regional peace & security”, the statement said.