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Afghan troops withdraw from Helmand counts tactical move

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(Last Updated On: February 21, 2016)

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Afghanistan National Defense Ministry says that the Afghan troops pull out from Musa Qala district of Helmand province was a tactical move not a retreat.

The ministry noted that with abandoning the security outpost in Musa Qala, the Afghan troops will soon launch a widespread operation on the armed Taliban group.

Afghan forces on Saturday pulled out of bases in Musa Qala, a strategic district of the southern province of Helmand, after months of heavy fighting with Taliban insurgents.

Helmand, a traditional heartland of the Taliban and one of the world’s biggest centers of opium production, has been threatened for months and the United States recently sent hundreds of soldiers to the province to bolster its defense.

“We have managed a regular plan with the ministry of interior to embedding powers for once again. The people will witness that we defeat the enemy by this move,” said Dawlat Waziri, spokesman of the defense ministry.

Helmand’s governor has also accepted that Afghan troops have changed positions not retreated in Musa Qala.

“This was a tactical move; pulling out from one place and replacing in another place,” said Mirza Khan Rahimi, governor of Helmand province.

Fierce fighting has raged in Musa Qala and other parts of Helmand for months and the Taliban overran the district in August last year before they were driven back by Afghan forces backed by U.S. airstrikes.

Musa Qala itself is a dry and sparsely inhabited district that British and American troops fought hard to control between 2006 and 2008 but its loss could bring further losses elsewhere, including Sangin where government forces have been clinging on.

Although Helmand has been one of the provinces most at risk, the Taliban have been pushing forward across the country, putting severe strain on government troops, fighting alone since international forces ended most combat operations in 2014.

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Children included among refugees forced into river by Iranian border guards

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(Last Updated On: May 28, 2020)

Findings show some children were among the ones thrown killed into the Harirud River by Iranian border guards.

The families of those who were thrown into the Harirud River by Iranian border guards a few weeks back have demanded the government share the results of the fact-finding committee with them.

The Independent Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has also acknowledged that there were children among the victims.

Naeem Nazari, deputy head of the Independent Human Rights Commission, said their investigation revealed that several children included those thrown into the river by Iranian border guards.

Herat Governor Sayed Wahid Qatali also said that the investigation was ongoing, and some considerable results had been achieved, which would soon be made public.

On the other hand, the families of those who were thrown into the river by Iranian border guards are asking the government to share with them the results of the investigation conducted by the fact-finding committee.

A delegation led by the Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister arrived in Afghanistan a few days ago and met with Afghan officials.

The Iranian and Afghan delegations stressed that this issue should be seriously investigated and that the results should be shared with the people.

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Prisoner releases; Taliban’s technical team arrives in Kabul

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(Last Updated On: May 28, 2020)

A Taliban technical team has arrived in Kabul to conduct verification for the Taliban prisoners.

The Taliban’s political office in Qatar and the Office of National Security Council confirmed that the team had come to Kabul only to take care of some technical work on the releases of prisoners at both ends.

Suhail Shaheen, the spokesperson for the Taliban’s political office in Qatar, said that a five-member Taliban team had been sent to Kabul to verify and release the prisoners and that the team would address some technical problems.

The Office National Security Council also confirmed that the Taliban and the government’s technical delegation were working to ease the release of prisoners.

On the other hand, the Pentagon believes that the Afghan government has taken an effective step towards peace by deciding to release 2,000 Taliban prisoners in the new round.

Many believe that as hurdles have been removed to an extent, the opportunity for bringing peace should not be missed this time.

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COVID-19

Coronavirus update; cases exceed 13,000 in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: May 28, 2020)

With 580 newly registered cases, the total number of cases for the Coronavirus reached 13,036, with 235 deaths.

The Ministry of Public Health announced the 580 new cases of Coronavirus as follows: Kabul with 322 cases, Herat with 139, Panjshir with 27, Balkh with 22, Farah with 21, Paktia with 20, Faryab with 15, and Parwan with 14 cases.

The Ministry of Public Health also expressed concerns about the lack of facilities saying that the Darulaman Palace, which was designated for the Coronavirus patients, has been evacuated.

Waheed Majrooh, a deputy of the Health Ministry, said that if medical supplies are not provided soon, it will cause major troubles.

Majrooh added that the Darulaman Palace, which was the center of abstraction, had been evacuated, and its beds had been transferred to hospitals.

The Ministry of Public Health emphasized that the least people can do is using masks, keeping social distancing, and washing their hands more often.

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