Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Second Lt. Zala Zazai, who became the first woman to work for the Khost Police, will be transferred to Kabul and reappointed due to security challenges, Khost officials said on Wednesday.
Zazai, who was deputy chief of the Khost Police Department’s Office for Combating Criminal Offenses, had started work in June 2020.
Khost Provincial Police Chief Dawood Tarakhil said that Zazai herself had asked for the transfer due to security issues and dispelled rumours of her firing.
“Zazai has not been fired, but will be changing her working position. Due to security, the Ministry of Interior has directed her to go to Kabul,” he said.
Earlier local media had shared reports that Zazai had asked for a leave of absence to go to Kabul and had not reported back on duty after it ended, sparking misinformation that she had been fired.
They said, that she had been asked to stay on in Kabul under the advice of the Ministry of Interior’s Marwa Amini, who is the head of the Human Rights, Women Affairs and Children department.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said on Wednesday that Coronavirus positive rates in the country had reduced to 12% in Afghanistan, meaning that only 12% of the tested samples were found to have the virus.
Akmal Samsor, spokesperson for the MoPH, said that in the 34th week of the pandemic, 246 cases of COVID-19 were reported in the country which showed a 12% rate of infection, compared to the 391 reported in Week 30, which was 18%.
Samsor said the cases may reduce further due to the falling positive confirmation rates in the coming weeks.
The ministry also said they since the beginning of this week, they had not recorded a single COVID-19 fatality in Kabul, one of the worst-affected provinces, indicating a decline in the number of patients.
Afghanistan has reported 38,243 Coronavirus cases so far with 1,409 deaths and 29,315 recoveries.
The Warduj district local police commander survived a suicide attack, Badakhshan officials confirmed on Wednesday.
Sanaullah Rohani, spokesman for Badakhshan’s provincial police chief, said that a suicide bomber had tried to kill Warduj district’s Commander Habib but had failed.
The bomber had planned to carry out the attack on Habib near his house in the Dasht-e-Farakh area of Baharak district on Wednesday morning at 11:30 am.
However, the explosion did not harm Habib.
Rohani said that two civilians nearby and two members accompanying Habib were injured during the explosion.
No individual or group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.
Taliban fighters killed a policewoman in Kunduz city, provincial officials confirmed to Reporterly on Wednesday.
Hijrat Akbari, a spokesperson for the Kunduz Provincial Police, told us that a policewoman, named Saleha, was killed by the Taliban on Tuesday evening in the Shura Khak area of Kunduz city.
The 45-year-old officer was posted in the Gultapa district of the province.
Akbari said that the area where Saleha was murdered is considered insecure.
The Kunduz police have launched an investigation into the incident since the motive behind the murder is unclear.
The Taliban is yet to comment.
Saleha’s murder comes barely a month after the assassination of Fatima Rajabi, an employee of the Ministry of Interior, by the Taliban.
Rajabi had been kidnapped by the Taliban when she was travelling home and held captive for almost two weeks, before her body was found in the Andar district of Ghazni on July 26.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) reported 40 new cases of Coronavirus over the past 24 hours, pushing the Afghan tally of confirmed cases to 38,243 so far.
The MoPH said that 325 samples were tested in the past day.
The new cases were reported in the provinces of Kandahar (19), Helmand (9), Kabul (5), Paktia (2), Nangarhar (2), Nuristan (2) and Sar-i-Pul (1).
Over the past day, three people succumbed to COVID-19 while there were 61 recoveries.
Afghanistan, thus has reported 1,409 fatalities and 29,315 recoveries from the virus, and there are currently 7,519 active cases in the country.
The Afghan government has released a batch of the remaining 320 Taliban prisoners, said the Presidential Palace on Wednesday.
Presidential spokesperson Sediq Sediqqi wrote on Twitter that the government has released some of the remaining Taliban prisoners and work was still underway to move the prisoner exchange process forward.
“Exchange of the prisoners is a two-way process and the government is closely assessing each step of the process,” he wrote.
Sediqqi said that with this, the Afghan government was “delivering on its commitments in the peace process” as decided by the Peace Consultative Loya Jirga held earlier in August.
“We expect the Taliban to live up to their commitments on the release of the remaining ANDSF captives,” he said.
The Presidential Palace had said that the Taliban had 22 Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) still detained.
Taliban officials have said they have released four commandos already and were in the process of releasing two more today.
The Afghan government is also expected to complete the prisoner release within the day.
Security officials confirmed that 37 Taliban members were killed in an airstrike on their rally in Faryab on Tuesday.
The 209th Shaheen Corps said on Wednesday, that the strikes were carried on Taliban rallies in the villages of Yangi, Zarghoi and Sar-e-Asyab in Qaisar district of Faryab.
Another airstrike in Khwaja Sabz Posh district also killed a key commander of the group, Faizullah.
The Air Force strikes also destroyed several of the group’s military equipment, weapons and vehicles.
The military’s ongoing operations in Faryab have seen several airstrikes during the week with large Taliban casualties reported.