Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $100 million grant to help the government of Afghanistan respond to the coronavirus disease.
“ADB reaffirms its full commitment to supporting Afghanistan in its fight against COVID-19 and reducing the adverse impact of the pandemic on the lives of Afghans and the economy,” said ADB President MasatsuguAsakawa.
“The assistance will help strengthen the health system, expand social protection for the poor and vulnerable population while ensuring gender mainstreaming, and support macroeconomic stabilization and job creation in Afghanistan,” he was quoted as saying in a press release.
Afghanistan’s economic has deteriorated during the COVID-19 pandemic because of business lockdowns, a sharp drop in household incomes, and a downturn in regional trade and remittances.
President Ashraf Ghani in a message on Monday expressed his condolence and deep sadness over civilian casualties in Nimroz province.
“I am deeply saddened over the news of martyrdom and injury of our compatriots because of an airstrike in Khashrud district of Nimroz province. I wish the families of victims patience, expressing my condolences and full recovery to the wounded,” the Presidential Palace said in a statement quoting President Ghani.
According to the statement, President Ghani instructed the relevant authorities to mobilize all resources to reach out to families of victims and provide immediate treatment to those who sustained injuries.
President also instructed the security officials to conduct a thorough investigation and share the findings with the office of the President.
“Taliban and other terrorist groups are using people and public spaces as their shield which is a main driver of civilian casualties. civilian casualties are the misfortune of the current war which are unacceptable and intolerable to me and other government officials,” Ghani added.
This comes as reports suggest that at least 18 members of a family have been killed in an airstrike by Afghan air forces in Khashrud district of Nimroz province.
Afghan local officials in Balkh province say the Taliban militants have kidnapped a woman and shot her killed in accusation of having cooperation with government forces in Balkh province.
Saif-ur-Rehman Rahmani, the district governor for Zari district of Balkh said the woman was 45 year-old and the mother of seven children who was taken by Taliban militants to an area under their control.
He noted that the woman lived near the building of a police HQ in Zari district.
Rahmani denied that the woman was in contact with the government forces, claiming that the Taliban were initially reluctant to hand over the woman’s corpse, but later, with the mediation of local people, agreed to hand over her body to them for burial.
He also claimed that in addition to this incident, a woman and another man have been killed by the Taliban in the district in the past month.
However, the Taliban group has denied the allegations in a statement issued on Friday.
local officials in Baghlan province say at least 13 Taliban militants have been killed and 20 more wounded in the province during the past week.
The governor of Baghlan, Muhammad Akbar Barikzai said at a press conference on Monday that Taliban militants attempted to attack security outposts on the public highway that faced Afghan forces resistance.
Baghlan Police chief also said that the Baghlan-Samangan and Baghlan-Pul-e Khomri highways are cleared of insurgents.
The security forces also detected and defused five IEDs which were planted on the public highway by the insurgents.
Ministry of Health Reports 46 New Cases of COVID-19The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Monday reported 46 new positive cases of coronavirus out of 1886 samples tested in the last 24 hours.
The ministry also reported 13 deaths and 189 recoveries from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
The cumulative number of total cases is now 53,584 the number of total reported deaths is 2,301 and the total number of recoveries is 44,137.
The new cases were reported in Kabul, Herat, Balkh, Takhar, Paktia, Daikundi, Ghazni, Badakhshan, Badghis, Logar, Maidan Wardak, Khost and Paktia.
Following the claims of civilians casualties in an airstrike in Nimroz province, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced that at least 14 Taliban militants including 9 Pakistani nationals have been killed in the airstrike.
MoD in a statement on Monday said that the airstrike which was carried out in Khashrud district of Nimroz province has targeted a Taliban hideout.
According to the statement, investigations that 18 members of a family killed in the airstrike are underway.
This comes as the head of Nimroz provincial Council, Baz Mohammed Naser has told media that at least 18 civilians have been killed in the airstrike.
The victims’ corpses were transferred to from Khashrud district to Zaranj city yesterday.
The Lower House of Parliament on Monday’s session harshly reacted to President Ghani’s remarks about the authority of the House of Representatives to approve the draft budget and their request for personal projects in the fiscal year of 1400.
Mir Rahman Rahmani, the speaker of the House of Representatives, said that the president’s remarks showed a “dark and ignorant view” of the law.
He stressed that the approval and adjustment of the draft budget is the exclusive competence of the House of Representatives, and that the House does not allow anyone with a personal interpretation of the law to embezzle public assets or use them for micro-programs, campaigns and group purposes.
According to Mir Rahmani, during a visit to Nangarhar last Thursday, President Ghani said that members of the House of Representatives had requested 2,000 personal projects that should be included in the draft budget for the 1400 fiscal year.
Rahmani said that according to the constitution, the budget is the responsibility of the government, but that it is up to the House of Representatives to decide and approve it.
He called on the Ministry of Finance to resubmit the previously rejected draft budget to the House of Representatives by amending and implementing the proposed amendments.
The speaker of the House of Representatives said that the amended draft budget should include a reasonable increase in the salaries of government employees.
The House of Representatives has previoualy approved a plan to standardize the salaries of government employees.
Faryab Police say at least four people, including civilians were killed and nine others were wounded in Taliban’s shooting and mortar attack in the province on Sunday.
Faryab Police Command in a press release on Monday said that the incidents took place in Dawlat Abad and Shirin Tagab districts.
According to the press release, a Taliban militant dressed in Burqa opened fire on people in the center of Dawlatabad district, killing one soldier and one civilian, and wounding six more.
In the meantime, two civilians were killed and three more including women and children were wounded as a Taliban mortar hit a residential house in the center of Shirin Tagab district.
The Taliban group has not commented on the incidents so far.
Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) says Uzbekistan has increased its electricity imports to Afghanistan from 300 to 400 megawatts.
DABS stated that with the increase of 100 megawatts of electricity, the power shortages in Kabul and the provinces will be solved to some extent.
Breshna emphasized that efforts are underway with power-importing countries to normalize the electricity situation and the problem of electricity shortages.
Uzbekistan has recently cut off electricity to Afghanistan due to the technical problems.
The Taliban group has accelerated pressures on the families of Afghan security forces in Badakhshan province to not allow their sons join the government ranks, local officials said.
The spokesman of Badakhshan Police, Sanaullah Rohani said that the Taliban militants have been oppressing the Afghan forces families in different parts of Raghestan district since last week.
According to Rohani, a clash erupted between Taliban militants and security forces near the bazaar of Reyenj Abb of Raghestan district which the bazaar burned down as a result of Taliban’s mortar which landed in the area on Sunday night.
However, the Taliban group has claimed that the bazaar was burned down as a mortar of Afghan forces hit the area, but Police denied it.
This comes as a number of families displaced from their homes by Taliban pressure as the militants have tightened their grip around the district.
Mohammad Karim Khalili, the leader of Hezb-e Wahdat Islami Afghanistan, will leave for Pakistan on Monday for a two-day visit to discuss the Afghan peace process with Pakistani officials.
The Pakistani Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday that Mr Khalili will head a delegation to Islamabad.
According to the statement, Khalili will meet with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, head of National Assembly Asad Qaisar and other Pakistani leaders.
The visit is part of Pakistan’s policy aimed at building a common understanding on the Afghan peace process, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said.
Earlier, a Taliban delegation led by Mullah Abdul Ghani brother, head of the Taliban’s political office in Qatar, traveled to Pakistan to discuss peace and other issues.
Afghan Air Force foiled an attempted car bomb blast by an airstrike in Maidan Wardak province on Sunday evening, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said.
MoD in a statement said that Afghan Air force identified and eliminated the car bomb before reaching its target in Badam area of Nirkh district in the province.
The statement added that the Taliban suicide bomber attempted to target Afghan security forces and civilians in the province.