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65% Afghans have no access to electricity – Integrity Watch Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: February 8, 2020)

According to the latest research by the Integrity Watch Afghanistan, lack of proper governance in the sector of energy caused 65% of Afghan residents not to have access to electricity.

The research shows that the slow development of the energy sector is a major reason for the slowdown of the economy and it promotes corruption.

Sayed Ikram Afzali, Chief Executive of the IWA said, “If the problems in the energy sector continue, the economy’s growth will slow down. Eco-life problems will get worse and out of control.”

The research shows that the Ministry of Energy and Water doesn’t legally assign executive tasks to the electricity company, water supply company, and urban canalization.

Mohammad Naser Timori, manager of communications and litigation said, “Afghanistan’s plan for 2020 to give access to governmental power for 56% of Afghans has been applied only up to 35%. The Ministry of Water and Energy failed in their plans.”

The research has been conducted by interviewing people and government officials.

Officials in IWA said that there were major issues in the sub-stations and the water dams adding that the construction of the projects hasn’t been done properly.

The Ministry of Energy and Water, however, rejected the allegations stated through the findings of the Integrity Watch Afghanistan.

Shekib, spokesperson of the MoEW said, “The Ministry of Water and Energy is fully committed to its promises in terms of managing Afghanistan’s water and energy. The work is properly in progress.”

Afghanistan now has the capacity to generate 519 megawatts of power, comprised of 51% thermal and 49% water energy.

Afghanistan yearly imports around 2,000 megawatts of power from the neighboring countries – in 2018 alone, $255 million were spent to buy electricity.

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Key Taliban commanders among 16 killed in Baghlan, Badakhshan clashes

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(Last Updated On: July 7, 2020)

At least 15 Taliban insurgents were killed in clashes with the Afghan forces in Baghlan-Samangan highway, police said.

In a statement released on Tuesday, police stated that the militants attacked and blocked the highway on Monday.

According to the statement, a combination of army, National Directorate of Security (NDS), police, and the special unit of police and air forces have launched a counterattack in the area.

At least 15 militants including a group’s key command – Qari Juma Gul – were killed in the air and ground raids, the statement said.

The Afghan forces have pushed back the Taliban, the statement noted.

Meanwhile, the insurgents attacked Pahn Dara, Persian name, area in Yaftal district of Badakhshan on Monday, and faced “resistance” by the Afghan security forces, Sanaullah Rohani, the provincial police spokesman said.

Rohani said, the Taliban designated judge for Yaftal was killed and two key commanders of the group were wounded as police pushed back the attack.

No casualties inflicted on the Afghan forces, he added.

The Taliban militant group yet to comment about the incidents.

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U.S. looking at banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok: Pompeo

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(Last Updated On: July 7, 2020)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said late on Monday that the United States is “certainly looking at” banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok.

“I don’t want to get out in front of the President (Donald Trump), but it’s something we’re looking at,” Pompeo said in an interview with Fox News.

U.S. lawmakers have raised national security concerns over TikTok’s handling of user data, saying they were worried about Chinese laws requiring domestic companies “to support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.”

The app, which is not available in China, has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience and has emphasized its independence from China.

Pompeo’s remarks also come amid increasing U.S.-China tensions over the handling of the coronavirus outbreak, China’s actions in Hong Kong and a nearly two-year trade war.

TikTok, a short-form video app owned by China-based ByteDance, was recently banned in India along with 58 other Chinese apps after a border clash between India and China.

Reuters reported late on Monday that TikTok would exit the Hong Kong market within days, deciding to do so after China’s establishment of a sweeping new national security law for the semi-autonomous city.

Source: Reuters

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Car bomb kills public police commander – Nangarhar

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(Last Updated On: July 7, 2020)

A local police commander was killed in a suicide attack in Khewa district of eastern Nangarhar province, a local official confirmed.

The incident took place at around 10:30 on Tuesday after an explosive-loaded vehicle went off at the Bazar of the district.

Mir Zaman, a local police commander for Kuz Kunar district of Nangarhar, along with two of his bodyguards were killed and eight more were wounded, Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for Nangarhar governor confirmed.

Immediately no group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack.

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