Newsfeed; Wednesday, March 18 2020

Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…

  • 18 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Gov’t to Build 100-Bed COVID-19 Hospital in Herat

    Afghan local officials in Herat province said that a 100 bed hospital will be built for treatment of patients infected with coronavirus.

    The Herat governor’s office in a press release said that based on the government’s decree, the work of building a hospital for the coronavirus patients will be built in Herat province.

    According to the press release, the hospital will be built in the upcoming 15 to 20 days.

    This comes as the total number of confirmed cases in Afghanistan reaches to 22.

  • 18 Mar 2020 Share this post

    11 Killed and wounded in Ghor Roadside Bomb Explosion

    Afghan local officials have confirmed that at least 11 civilians have been killed and wounded in a roadside bomb blast in Ghor province.

    The spokesman of Ghor governor, Muhammad Aref Aber told Reporterly that a vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Bara Khana area on Ghor-Herat highway at around 07:00am on Wednesday.

    He noted that the driver has died and 10 others were wounded in the incident.

    He added that the bomb was replaced by the Taliban group.

  • 18 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Three Police Soldiers Killed in IED Blast in Kapisa

    Afghan security officials confirmed that at least two police soldiers were killed and one other was wounded in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast in Kapisa province.

    Kapisa Police commander told Reporterly that a Humvee tank of Police forces hit an IED in Shah Koot area when they were on way toward Ala Say district.

  • 18 Mar 2020 Share this post

    President’s Top Adviser Calls on Political Groups Help Raise Awareness About COVID-19

    President Ghani’s senior adviser Waheed Omer has called on all political groups to step forward and help raise awareness about the “emergency” caused by COVID-19.

    “This is no time for political point scoring or cashing in on the situation to advance narrow political goals. It’s time for all to work together to save afg lives,” Omer tweeted.

    This comes as the total number of confirmed cases in Afghanistan reaches to 22.

  • 18 Mar 2020 Share this post

    US Embassy in Kabul Suspended Routine Consular Services Over Coronavirus

    The US embassy in Kabul has suspended the routine consular services due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    “All routine consular services, including visas and American Citizens Services (ACS) such as passport renewals and notaries, are suspended at Embassy Kabul as of March 15. This suspension of routine services will continue until further notice,” the embassy said in a statement.

    The statement advised that if you have concerns about your health or safety in Afghanistan, now is the time to leave.

    “Additional updates will be sent through the Safe Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP),” the statement added.

    There are almost 200,000 cases of coronavirus across 164 countries and territories, a Reuters tally at 0200 GMT on Wednesday showed. Over 8,400 deaths have been reported.

  • 18 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Afghan Police Set on Fire 35 Tons of Drugs in Jawzjan

    Police in the northern Jawzjan province set on fire 35 tons of illicit drugs including heroin and hashish on Monday, provincial police chief Abdul Wahid Wajdan said Tuesday.

    The drugs had been seized over the past one year, the official said, adding that 47 people have been arrested on charge of involvement in drug smuggling.

    Wajdan also noted that police would spare no efforts to bring to zero the poppy cultivation and drug production in the relatively restive province.

  • 18 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Airstrikes in Afghanistan Continue at Steady Rate

    U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan continued at a steady rate in February, despite reaching a tentative peace deal with the Taliban.

    In February, U.S. manned and unmanned aircraft dropped 360 weapons—the lowest monthly total since the same month of 2019, but the second highest February on record since 2009. The total, down from January’s 415 tally, brings 2020’s total to 775 so far, according to Air Forces Central Command statistics released March 12.

    So far this year, U.S. aircraft have airdropped 62,500 pounds of supplies, and flown 2,340 airlift and airdrop sorties—both at approximately the same rate as 2019.

  • 18 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Gov’t Orders Closure of Restaurants, Public Baths, Sports Complexes over COVID-19

    The Afghan government has ordered closure of restaurants, swimming pools, public baths and sports complexes as a precaution against coronavirus.

    The Interior Ministry has notified the owners of the mentioned facilities to stop their activities until further notice.

    It warned that police will act seriously against violators of the measure.

    People have been urged to report violations to police by dialing 119.

  • 18 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Clashes Erupted Between Afghan Forces & Taliban in Balkh

    At least two Afghan security forces and dozens of Taliban fighters were killed in clashes in the northern Balkh province, an official confirmed.

    Ajmal Fayez, a spokesman for police headquarters in Balkh, told Anadolu Agency the incident in the province’s Chahar Bolak district also resulted in closure of the main Balk-Jawzjan highway.

    He said two security forces personnel were killed in an insurgent attack on a checkpoint.

    The Afghan National Army’s 209-Shaheen corps said in a statement that “scores” of insurgents have been killed in Chahar Bolak in a clean-up operation.

  • 18 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Past 24 Hours; No Positive Coronavirus Case Reported in Afghanistan

    The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) says no coronavirus case reported in Afghanistan during the past 24 hours.

    The spokesman of MoPH, Wahidullah Mayar said, “In the past 24 hours we did not have any positive case of the coronavirus in the country.”

    Mayar noted that the thermal camera will be installed in the border with Iran and other parts of the country to fight the coronavirus.

    “We have teams screening people for coronavirus in Herat and Kabul,” he said.

    MoPH spokesperson cited that
    the health officials are doubling the capacity for the test of coronavirus.

    “80% of coronaviurs infects do not have symptoms,” he said.

    Mayar added that officials have taken serious measures in prisons against coronavirus.

  • 18 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Over 9000 Tons of Food Supplies Imported to Afghanistan Through Railroads

    The Afghan government announced on Tuesday that 9,014 tons of food supplies have been imported to the country via railroads.

    This comes as coronavirus sends food prices soaring in major cities in Afghanistan.

    According to statement from the railroads department, 215 wagons of goods have arrived through Hairatan-Mazar, Aqina and Torghandi railroads. Of the 215 wagons, 139 wagons contain food supplies such as flour, oil, rice and other commodities.

    Afghan government has taken strict measures to prevent shopkeepers from increasing prices. Owners face high fines and their shops will be sealed.

    The government has also declared hoarding of food supplies a crime.

  • 18 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Ghani Orders Nessecary Measures for Preventing COVID-19 in Police Ranks

    President Ashraf Ghani has met with the Acting Interior Minister Masoud Andarabi and discussed campaign against the coronavirus pandemic.

    The Presidential Palace in a statement said that President Ghani has ordered that the necessary measures should be taken to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Police ranks.

    This comes as the total number of confirmed cases in Afghanistan reaches to 22.

  • 18 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Uzbek Envoy for Afghanistan Met With Indian Ambassador

    Special Representative of the President of Uzbekistan for Afghanistan, Ismatulla Irgashev, has met with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of India Santosh Jha.

    The Ambassador noted the relevance of the fight against coronavirus, information was also provided on the security measures taken by the Indian side, as well as expressed readiness to closely cooperate with the Uzbek side in this direction.

    Efforts of Uzbekistan and India to resolve the Afghan crisis, the priority areas of Uzbekistan – India cooperation in joint implementation of various projects in Afghanistan were also discussed.

    The Indian side expressed its readiness to continue actively contributing to the establishment of a long-term and sustainable peace in Afghanistan.

  • 18 Mar 2020 Share this post

    American Pilot Reveals How He Defeated Pakistani F-16 During Bin Laden Mission

    The American pilot who participated in the mission to kill or capture Osama bin Laden, has revealed how he defeated and evaded the Pakistani F-16 fighter jet during the mission.

    The pilot, Douglas Englen was on his way back after completing the mission when his Chinook helicopter was engaged three times by a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet.

    However, he managed to defeat and evade the fighter jet because of the anticipation and plans he had for the scenario.

    “It was as an electronic fight. A missile never left the rail. So I was able to evade him electronically. That’s all I’ll say. But, he was searching and hunting for me, and three times came very close to actually launching a missile,” Englen told The Military Times.

    He’d done that before with other fighter jets on other missions. “That’s why we were picked for this mission. And, I was one of the few who trained 160th crews how to do that,” he added.

    “We pulled every technique and tactic out of the book. And it worked,” he said.

    Bin Laden was killed in an operation of the US Navy Seal forces in May 2011 in Abbottabad, a military township located close to Islamabad city.

  • 18 Mar 2020 Share this post

    EU Calls for ‘Full Ceasefire’ in Afghanistan over Coronavirus

    As the world is fighting to fight the coronavirus, the European Union has called for halt to fighting in view of the growing threat of coronavirus that has also affected people in the war-ravaged Afghanistan.

    Taliban have been observing ceasefire with foreign forces since they have signed an agreement with the US on Feb. 29, however, they have stepped up attacks on Afghan forces after a weeklong reduction in violence ended.

    EU Special Envoy for Afghanistan Roland Kobia said that everyone has the right to be helped against the coronavirus.

    “To be better helped, first measures should be: full ceasefire, stop taxing humanitarian aid, ensure full access and safety, coordinate & cooperate with Government. That would maximise help to all the people of Afghanistan,” Kobia said in a twitter post.

    Taliban have not responded to the EU envy’s call. However, Taliban political spokesman Suhail Shaheen said that the Taliban via its Health Commission has assured all international health organizations and WHO of its readiness to cooperate and coordinate with them in combatting the coronavirus.