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45 Afghan Security Forces Killed in Baghlan

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(Last Updated On: August 15, 2018)

At least 45 Afghan security forces were killed in a Taliban attack over an army base in northern Baghlan province, a security source confirmed Wednesday.

The incident happened after Taliban fighters attacked Allahuddin military base in Baghlan-e Markazi district of the province last night.

The source added that as a result 36 soldiers and nine Afghan Local Policemen (ALP) lost their lives.

Taliban has also seized all equipment which were available at the base.

Meanwhile, the Head of Baghlan Provincial Council said that Taliban fighters were still controlling the base and dead bodies of security forces were remained in the battlefield due to ongoing clashes.

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Indian doctor suspected of having been Jalalabad prison car bomber

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(Last Updated On: August 5, 2020)

An Indian doctor was among three Indian nationals suspected of having been involved in Sunday’s prison attack in Jalalabad that killed at least 30 people, Indian officials have confirmed. 

The Times of India reported that intelligence officials confirmed the doctor was killed when he rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into the gates of the prison at the start of Sunday’s attack.

Dr Ijas Kallukettiya Purayil, was a Daesh member and was on India’s National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) “most wanted” list, according to the Hindustan Times.

Purayil was identified as one of 11 Daesh attackers after the terrorist organization released information and images of the attackers following the siege. 

According to the Hindustan Times, Purayil was the only Indian attacker whose face was visible in photos released by Daesh. The other two Indian nationals wore masks. 

According to the NIA’s website, Purayil’s status is listed as “absconding”.

A charge sheet filed by NIA in 2016 states he was wanted in connection with a case registered in 2016 on charges of criminal conspiracy, commission of unlawful activities, and membership and support of Daesh. 

His wife Reffeala and their minor child left India via Hyderabad airport in June 2016 to join Daesh in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, the Hindustan Times reported.

Reffeala is currently believed to be in a Kabul prison along with her five-year-old son who they took with them in 2016 and an infant born in Afghanistan. 

She was caught along with 24 other Indians in November last year, the Hindustan Times reported. 

In a message to the media after the deadly attack, Daesh said the attack had been carried out by 11 Daesh members – four Tajiks, three Indians, three Afghans and a Pakistani. 

The attack started on Sunday evening and lasted for over 18 hours. During this time hundreds of the 1,700 prisoners in the Jalalabad facility escaped. 

On Tuesday, an Afghan MP confirmed as many as 800 Daesh prisoners were still on the run. 

Abdul Karim Karimi, a Member of Parliament, said: “1,700 prisoners were inside the jail during the attack, they all attempted to escape. Out of which, 500 of them failed to escape, whereas 800 more prisoners including Daesh, Taliban, and criminals fled.”

According to officials, prisoners being held in that particular jail were political prisoners and criminals. Among them were Taliban and Daesh militants.

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Toll expected to rise in blast that shook Beirut, killing 78 and injuring thousands

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(Last Updated On: August 5, 2020)

Lebanese rescue workers dug through the rubble looking for survivors of a powerful warehouse explosion that shook the capital Beirut, killing 78 people and injuring nearly 4,000 in a toll that officials expected to rise, Reuters reported Wednesday.

Tuesday’s blast at port warehouses storing highly explosive material was the most powerful in years in Beirut, already reeling from an economic crisis and a surge in coronavirus infections.

President Michel Aoun said that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, used in fertilizers and bombs, had been stored for six years at the port without safety measures, and he said that was “unacceptable”.

He called for an emergency cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Officials did not say what caused the blaze that set off the blast. A security source and local media said it was started by welding work being carried out on a hole in the warehouse.

“What we are witnessing is a huge catastrophe,” the head of Lebanon’s Red Cross George Kettani told broadcaster Mayadeen. “There are victims and casualties everywhere.”

Hours after the blast, which struck shortly after 6 pm, a fire still blazed in the port district, casting an orange glow across the night sky as helicopters hovered and ambulance sirens sounded across the capital.

The blast revived memories of a 1975-90 civil war and its aftermath, when Lebanese endured heavy shelling, car bombings and Israeli air raids. Some residents thought an earthquake had struck.

Dazed, weeping and injured people walked through streets searching for relatives.

“The blast blew me off meters away. I was in a daze and was all covered in blood. It brought back the vision of another explosion I witnessed against the US embassy in 1983,” said Huda Baroudi, a Beirut designer.

Prime Minister Hassan Diab promised there would be accountability for the deadly blast at the “dangerous warehouse”, adding “those responsible will pay the price.”

The US embassy in Beirut warned residents about reports of toxic gases released by the blast, urging people to stay indoors and wear masks if available.

Many Missing

“There are many people missing. People are asking the emergency department about their loved ones and it is difficult to search at night because there is no electricity,” Health Minister Hamad Hasan told Reuters.

Hasan said 78 people were killed and nearly 4,000 injured.

Footage of the explosion shared by residents on social media showed a column of smoke rising from the port, followed by an enormous blast, sending a white cloud and a fireball into the sky. 

Those filming the incident from high buildings 2 km from the port were thrown backwards by the shock.

Bleeding people were seen running and shouting for help in clouds of smoke and dust in streets littered with damaged buildings, flying debris, and wrecked cars and furniture.

The explosion occurred three days before a U.N.-backed court is due to deliver a verdict in the trial of four suspects from the Shi’ite Muslim group Hezbollah over a 2005 bombing which killed former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri and 21 others.

Hariri was killed by a huge truck bomb on the same waterfront, about 2 km (about one mile) from the port.

Israeli officials said Israel, which has fought several wars with Lebanon, had nothing to do with Tuesday’s blast and said their country was ready to give humanitarian and medical assistance. 

Shi’ite Iran, the main backer of Hezbollah, also offered support, as did Tehran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia, a leading Sunni power.

At a White House briefing, US President Donald Trump indicated that the explosion was a possible attack, but two US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said initial information contradicted Trump’s view.

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Hundreds of Daesh and Taliban prisoners on the run after prison siege

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(Last Updated On: August 4, 2020)

An Afghan MP on Tuesday claimed as many as 800 ISIS (Daesh) and Taliban prisoners are on the loose after escaping during Sunday’s deadly prison attack in Jalalabad.

Abdul Karim Karimi, a Member of Parliament, said: “1,700 prisoners were inside the jail during the attack, they all attempted to escape. Out of which, 500 of them failed to escape, whereas 800 more prisoners including Daesh, Taliban, and criminals fled.”

According to officials, prisoners being held in that particular jail were political prisoners and criminals. Among them were Taliban and Daesh militants.

The Nangarhar governor’s spokesman, Ataullah Khogyani, confirmed that hundreds of prisoners escaped but that the matter will be investigated in order to ascertain whether there was any negligence on the part of prison staff.

“So far, hundreds of prisoners including Daesh, Taliban, and other criminals are missing,” Khogyani said.
Local officials did not give details as to the identity of the missing prisoners but said search operations were underway in a bid to capture the escaped convicts.

Sources meanwhile added that out of five prisoners killed in Sunday’s attack, three of them were Taliban commanders.

Meanwhile, Daesh sent out letters overnight to residents of Jalalabad warning them not to hand over any CCTV footage they might have that recorded events outside their shops or houses during the time of the siege.

Sunday’s prison attack started with a car bomb just after 6.30pm and lasted for at least 18 hours before security forces were able to bring the situation under control.

Soon after militants stormed the facility, Daesh claimed responsibility. Officials said 11 Daesh militants had been involved.

While the siege was underway, security forces also raided a property in Behsoud district in Nangarhar and seized hundreds of weapons and military hardware.

The prison siege started just a day after Afghanistan’s intelligence services announced the Afghan special forces had killed a high-ranking Daesh member in an operation in the eastern province of Nangarhar.

A statement late Saturday by the National Directorate of Security said the slain militant was Assadullah Orakzai, an intelligence leader for the IS affiliate (Daesh) in Afghanistan. The statement said he was killed near Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province. IS has its headquarters in the province.

Orakzai was suspected of being involved in several deadly attacks against both military and civilian targets in Afghanistan.

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