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9 Killed in Takhar Armed Clash

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: May 19, 2019)

At least nine people killed and seven others wounded in a clash between the irresponsible armed men and residents of a village in Takhar province, a local official said on Sunday.

Provincial police spokesman Khalil Aseer told Ariana News that the clashes occurred between a group of irresponsible armed men led by commander Mohammad and residents of Kazar village in Rustaq district of the province on Saturday night.

He added that as a result nine people were killed and seven others wounded.

Mohammad who was on the police wanted list has also been killed in the clashes, the official further said.

Takhar is among the volatile provinces in the north of the country where the Taliban insurgent group and irresponsible armed groups are active in a number of its districts.

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Three killed in clash with Taliban over rape accusation

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: August 4, 2020)

At least three civilians were killed and three more wounded in a clash between residents and Taliban militants in Khwaja Ghar district of northeastern Takhar province.

Khalil Asir, a spokesman for Takhar police, told Ariana News that the clash broke out after local residents stormed a Taliban prison on Monday afternoon.

According to Asir, members of the community attempted to get access to Taliban insurgents who allegedly raped two girls in the district two weeks ago.

He said the militants opened fire on the residents which resulted in the death of three people. Three more were wounded.

Two weeks ago, a resident of Khwaja Ghar claimed that Taliban fighters raped two of his teenage daughters.

The local Taliban reportedly denied any wrongdoing.

The Taliban has not commented on the incident.

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Andarabi claims new Daesh leader is a Haqqani member

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: August 4, 2020)

Masoud Andarabi, the acting minister of interior, said Monday night that Shahab al-Muhajir, the newly appointed leader of Daesh in Afghanistan, was in fact a member of the Haqqani Network.

Commenting on Twitter, Andarabi said: “Haqqani and the Taliban carry out their terrorism on a daily basis across Afg and when their terrorist activities does not suit them politically they rebrand it under ISKP (Daesh Afghanistan).”

Andarabi’s tweet came just hours after security forces brought an end to the Jalalabad prison siege in the eastern province of Nangarhar.

The attack started on Sunday night shortly after 6.30 pm and carried on throughout the night and most of Monday.

Soon after militants detonated a car bomb at the gates of the prison, and gunmen stormed the facility, Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack.

Sunday was also the final day of a three-day Eid ceasefire that had been called by both the Taliban and the Afghan government.

However, the prison siege resulted in the death of at least 30 people, including civilians, security force members, and prisoners.

In addition, prisoners escaped during the chaos but security forces said they rounded hundreds of them up.

The attack came just a day after the Afghan intelligence agency, the National Security Directorate (NDS), killed a senior Daesh group commander near Jalalabad.

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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Trump expects only ‘4,000 to 5,000’ troops in Afghanistan by November

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: August 4, 2020)

US President Donald Trump said in an interview broadcast on Monday night that by November election day troop levels in Afghanistan will be down to between 4,000 and 5,000.

Trump told Axios he will reduce American troop levels in Afghanistan down to about 4,000 “very soon”. 

He said: “We are largely out of Afghanistan”. 

“We’ll be down in a very short period of time to 8,000, then we’re going to be down to 4,000, we’re negotiating right now”, he said adding that the US had “been there now for 19 years and we will be getting out.”

Refusing to give a date as to when the additional drawdown of troops would be done, he was then asked how many US troops would still be in Afghanistan on election day in November.

Trump said “anywhere between four and five thousand.”

Questioned about long-standing rumors of Russia supplying the Taliban with weapons, Trump said he had “heard that but again it’s never reached my desk”. 

He also said “Russia doesn’t want anything to do with Afghanistan” and stated the old Soviet Union had gone bankrupt because of its involvement in Afghanistan. 

“The last thing that Russia wants to do is to get too much involved in Afghanistan. They tried that once and it didn’t work out too well,” he said. 

This comes after reports emerged in June of Russia offering bounty payments to the Taliban to kill US troops. 

Last month the top US general overseeing operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan told CNN that the intelligence concerning Russian operatives offering bounties to the Taliban was “very worrisome” but that the information wasn’t solid enough to hold up in a court of law.

General Frank McKenzie, the commander of US Central Command, also said he was not convinced that the Russian bounty program was directly responsible for the deaths of US personnel.

But former US officials have said whether or not bounties were paid, Moscow has been a thorn in Washington’s side for years with regards to Afghanistan. 

Referring to the issue of supplying weapons to the Taliban, the then-defense secretary James Mattis said in 2017: “We’re going to have to confront Russia.”

General John Nicholson, the top US commander in Afghanistan from 2016 to 2018, also accused Russia of “arming belligerents” in 2017 and in 2018 said, “Clearly, they are acting to undermine our interests.”

Other former officials have in the past told NBC News that although Russia has professed support for planned peace negotiations, Moscow also cultivated ties and provided aid to the Taliban.

Douglas London, a former CIA official who worked on Afghanistan matters before he retired in late 2018, told NBC that US officials closely tracked Russian support to the Taliban. 

He also said that reports of the Russians paying the Taliban to “incentivize” American deaths is “not inconsistent with our understanding of Moscow’s efforts to be a disruptive force and inflict harm on our people and interests.”

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