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2 killed, 10 wounded as blast rocks district in E. Afghanistan

Ariana News

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(Last Updated On: April 4, 2016)

Nangarhar

Two people were killed and at least 10 others mainly all civilians were injured as blast rocked Khiwa district in the eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, provincial governor Spokesman Attaullah Khogyani said.

A planted mine has went off in the house of a local police in Khiwa district around 11:30 am on Monday, killing two and injuring 10 others, Khogyani told Ariana News.

Based on the reports all causalities are civilians, and the targeted police has escaped unhurt.

Local police is a part of the Afghan National Police (ALP) composed of villagers and serving in the areas of the countryside where the presence of regular security forces is slim, to defend rural areas against the anti-government militants.

Both Taliban and the Islamic State insurgents are active in a number of the districts of Nangarhar including Khiwa district, but none has claimed responsibility.

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Taliban record video of their checkpoint actions close to Kabul

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(Last Updated On: September 26, 2020)

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior downplayed claims of Taliban checkpoint activity in Kabul on Saturday but a video clip shared on social media sparked concern among the city’s residents. 

The video clip, appearing to have been taken by the Taliban, surfaced on Saturday indicating Taliban checkpoints had been in PD5 in Kabul – in Bagh-e-Dawood, Qale Haidar Khan and in Company area and Arghande in Paghman district. 

One Taliban member had a radio with him while a second was armed. A third Taliban member appeared to have taken the video. 

In the video the insurgents stopped and questioned truck drivers and at least one taxi driver on where they were heading and where they had come from. They also asked one driver about the situation along the Kabul-Ghazni highway.

One Taliban said to a truck driver: “Company area of Kabul province where Islamic Emirate Mujahideen are present and asking people and … (to the driver) how are you? You, you ok?

Staring at the driver of the truck he said: “Where have you come from?”

The driver answered he had come from Ghazni and said he was on his way to Kabul. 

The Ministry of Interior, however, downplayed the claims, saying that the Afghan security forces have an active presence in the areas.

“The group’s physical presence is not lasting. They always flee from one place to another area. Our joint security forces have an active presence where the Taliban claim to be,” Tariq Arian, the ministry’s spokesperson said.

The video sparked a worried response from social media users and one resident in PD5 told Ariana news that government is not maintaining security in the area. 

He said a friend had recently been shot dead by the Taliban but “government did not address the issue and police told us you [must] pay Usher (taxes) to the Taliban,” for protection. 

Meanwhile, Afghan National Police said during the night Taliban’s Red Unit launched attacks on security checkpoints on the outskirts of Kabul city, including Company area.

This comes amid rising violence across the country that has sparked serious concern among the country’s leaders and the international community – especially as the Afghan government and the Taliban are still engaged in the early stages of peace negotiations in Doha. 

Leaders across the world have called for a reduction in violence and an urgent ceasefire to end the ongoing conflict that is taking its toll on war-weary Afghans who have lived through almost 40 years of war. 

 

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Lebanon’s Prime Minister-designate quits as country’s crisis deepens

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(Last Updated On: September 26, 2020)

Lebanon’s Prime Minister-designate Mustapha Adib resigned Saturday after failing to form a new government in the crisis-hit country. 

Adib was tasked with forming a new government last month after the resignation of Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s cabinet following the massive explosion in Beirut that caused widespread destruction across the city.

The blast came at a time when the country was reeling under a crippling economic crisis while dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

Adib’s resignation is a blow to French President Emmanuel Macron’s bid to rally sectarian leaders to tackle the worst crisis since the nation’s 1975-1990 civil war.

Adib’s appointment came after Macron intervened and secured a consensus on naming him in a country where power is shared between Muslims and Christians.

On Saturday, Adib told reporters he was stepping down after it became clear that the kind of cabinet he wished to form was “bound to fail”.

A source close to Macron reportedly said the situation that led to Adib’s resignation amounted to “collective betrayal” by political parties.

“It is indispensable to have a government capable of receiving international aid. France will not abandon Lebanon,” said the official.

Lebanon is in desperate need of financial assistance but France — the former colonial power — and others have refused to provide aid before serious reforms are made.

Adib announced he was stepping down but said Lebanon must not abandon the French plan or squander Macron’s goodwill.

“I stress that this initiative must continue,” he said after meeting President Michel Aoun.

He wished his successor well in the “hard task” of forming a government.

Politicians had promised Paris they would have a government in place by mid-September.

“It’s a setback, but we’re not giving up,” a French diplomatic source said.

Under the French roadmap, the new government would take swift steps to tackle corruption and implement reforms needed to trigger billions of dollars of international aid to fix an economy that has been crushed by a mountain of debt.

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Ghani and Pakistani PM discuss need for ceasefire

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(Last Updated On: September 26, 2020)

President Ashraf Ghani and Pakistan’s Prime Minister held a telephone conversation Friday where both parties agreed there was an urgent need for a ceasefire. 

In a statement issued by the Presidential Palace (ARG), government said Ghani and Khan discussed bilateral relations, the peace process, and a ceasefire in Afghanistan. 

Ghani also invited Khan to pay an official visit to Afghanistan. 

ARG quoted Khan as saying: “We fully support the establishment of a ceasefire in Afghanistan and thanked the President for his invitation.”

According to ARG, Khan will “visit Kabul in the near future.”

Pakistan’s Geo TV meanwhile reported that Pakistan would fully support the decisions that the Afghan people would take about their future, according to Khan.

The prime minister also underlined the importance Pakistan attaches to constructive engagement with Afghanistan, and to peace, stability, and prosperity of the Afghan people.

Geo TV also stated that the Chairman of the Afghan High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR), Abdullah Abdullah, would be visiting Islamabad next week.

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