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Afghan forces kill mastermind of Nangarhar prison attack

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(Last Updated On: August 18, 2020)

Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) on Tuesday confirmed Special Forces had killed the mastermind of this month’s Nangarhar prison attack.

The NDS said in a statement on Tuesday it had killed high ranking Daesh member, Abdullah Orakzai, the chief justice of ISIS-K/Daesh in Afghanistan.

According to the NDS, Abdullah Orakzai had masterminded the recent prison attack which left at least 30 people dead and more than 50 wounded. 

The Afghan spy agency, however, did not provide further details. 

Abdullah Orakzai had also been the deputy intelligence leader of Daesh.

Assadullah Orakzai, who was killed by the Afghan Special Forces near Jalalabad, in Nangarhar province, in late July, had been the head of intelligence for the terrorist organization.

However, Abdullah Orakzai was also suspected of being involved in several deadly attacks against both military and civilian targets in the country, the NDS added.

“Abdullah Orakzai, was military in charge for Daesh in Naziyan and Achin districts of Nangarhar province, and he had issued a fatwa allowing its insurgents to behead civilians and forcibly marry their girls,” the NDS said in a statement.

This latest development comes after Afghan Special Forces arrested another coordinator of the prison attack during a raid in Kunar province on August 5.

The key commander was identified as Mohammad Saeed son of Mohammad Afzal, who was involved in moving foreign ISIS insurgents along with their families around the country.

“He (Mohammad Saeed) was one of the masterminds of the recent attack in Nangarhar,” the NDS said.

The prison attack started when an Indian doctor, Ijas Kallukettiya Purayil, detonated an explosive-laden vehicle at the entrance gate of the jail.

Soon after 10 militants stormed the facility and it took security forces nearly 18 hours to bring the situation under control.

Meanwhile, an Afghan MP claimed that around 800 ISIS-K (Daesh) and Taliban prisoners had escaped during the attack. Afghan officials later confirmed that hundreds of Daesh and Taliban prisoners were missing.

Daesh has not yet commented in this regard.

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Saleh lashes out over Kabul blast, says ‘rotten ideology’ must be rooted out

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(Last Updated On: October 24, 2020)

Afghanistan’s First Vice President Amrullah Saleh said on Saturday night that ISIS Afghanistan (IS-K) and the Taliban share the same “ideological gene” and that the “rotten ideology” needs to be rooted out. 

Reacting to the deadly bombing earlier Saturday evening in a suburb of Kabul, Saleh tweeted: “The suicide attack at a private learning center in West of Kabul killed 11 and maimed many young hopefuls. The rotten ideology of quest for false heaven has to be rooted out. Talibs & IS-K share the same ideological gene. They are together at tactical level now. Future ?!”

Within half an hour of Saleh’s tweet, the death toll in the suicide bombing had however risen to 13. 

Saleh was one of many who condemned the incident and questioned the high levels of violence despite ongoing peace talks in Doha. 

Patricia Gossman, Associate Asia director for Human Rights Watch, posted on Twitter and said: “Yet another senseless, cruel attack in Kabul. Civilians going about ordinary activities—walking down the street, sitting in lessons, or getting care in a hospital—continue to suffer sudden and terrifying violence. Why are their stories not told in the peace talks?”

Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, also  condemned the attack and labeled it a “terrorist attack” that was “against Islamic and human values.” 

EU special representative for Afghanistan Roland Kobia also slammed the high levels of violence and said: “This and other recent attacks on provincial capitals illustrate the so-called ‘Reduction in Violence’. Enough. There must by full unity of the international community, + massive pressure for an immediate ceasefire asked by all Afghans.”

The attack came in an area of west Kabul that is home to many from the Shia community, a minority in Afghanistan that has been targeted by groups such as the Islamic State (IS-K) in the past.

Saturday’s incident happened when a suicide bomber tried to enter an education center but was prevented from doing so by the guards. He then detonated his explosives in a narrow alley. 

In the past, the area has witnessed deadly explosions that have killed dozens of people over the years. 

In 2018 dozens of students were killed in an explosion at another education center and in May this year, 24 people including mothers, babies and expectant mothers were killed when gunmen attacked a maternity ward at a hospital in the area. 

The Taliban meanwhile was quick to distance themselves from Saturday’s attack but no other group has yet accepted responsibility for the explosion.

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At least 13 killed in suicide bombing outside a Kabul college 

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(Last Updated On: October 24, 2020)

At least 13 people have been killed in a suicide bombing in a densely populated area of Kabul city. 

Ministry of Interior spokesman Tariq Arian confirmed Saturday evening that the death toll stands at 13 and about 30 others were wounded. 

He also stated that a suicide bomber had tried to enter the Kawsar-e Danish Training Center but was prevented from doing so by the guards at the gate. 

The suicide bomber then detonated his explosives in the alley, Arian said. 

Soon after the explosion, the Taliban’s spokesman distanced the group from the incident and stated they were not behind the attack. 

In a message on Twitter, Zabihullah Mujahid said “the Taliban was not responsible for the explosion in Pul-e Khoshk area [of Kabu].”

Videos posted on social media painted a grim picture of blood and bodies lying in the alley immediately after the incident. Local residents also frantically covered the victims with blankets while others carried the wounded to vehicles so they could be transported to hospital. 

No other group has yet claimed responsibility for the incident.

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Civilians killed in Kabul city explosion

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(Last Updated On: October 24, 2020)

A number of people have been killed in an explosion that ripped through a densely built-up area in Pul-e-Khushk in Kabul city on Saturday evening.

The incident happened at about 5 pm local time.

Videos posted to social media show local residents frantically calling for blankets to cover bodies lying in a narrow lane while others assist the wounded. 

The exact number of people killed has not yet been confirmed. 

Early reports also indicate the explosion targeted an education facility in the area. 

Details to follow.

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