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An Intelligence Officer Assassinated in Farah

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(Last Updated On: December 31, 2018)

Unknown gunmen assassinated an intelligence officer in Farah province on Monday morning, police said.

Provincial Police Chief Rahmatullah Sediqi told Ariana News that an employee of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) was assassinated by unknown gunmen early this morning in Askar Abad area of the city.

The victim was identified as Syed Ashuqullah who also used to work as a cameraman for Afghanistan’s National Radio and Television in Farah province.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attack yet.

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Shaheen: The number of prisoners released by the gov’t is conflicted

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(Last Updated On: June 1, 2020)

Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen has said that the government has released less than 2,500 prisoners while claiming the release of 3,000.

According to him, the government has so far released only 2,284 Taliban prisoners, to be exact.

Shaheen added that the release of prisoners had to be transparent, and there should not be any flaws in the process.

Meanwhile, Jawed Faisal, the spokesman for the National Security Council, said that 1,000 Taliban prisoners had been released before Eid-ul-Fitr.

According to him, on the occasion of the Eid, the president announced the release of 2,000 Taliban prisoners, out of which, 1,000 were released over Eid holidays.

Reportedly, in the past three days, the government has released 710 Taliban prisoners and another 290 are expected to be added to the number, bringing the total of the released prisoners to 3,000.

Sayed Akbar Agha, a former Taliban member, said that according to some credible sources, some drug traffickers had also been released among the Taliban prisoners.

According to the government, civilians are included among the over 400 prisoners released by the Taliban and were claimed as men of the government.

The government’s negotiating team has been urging the Taliban to start the Intra-Afghan negotiations soon.

Farooq Majrooh, a member of the government’s negotiating team, said that some countries were ready to host the talks and that the government and the Taliban had to agree on a specific location as soon as possible.

On the other hand, the High Council of National Reconciliation, which is responsible for advancing the peace talks, has announced working on the structure of the council.

Fawzia Kufi, a member of the government’s negotiating team, stressed that women should leading roles in the High Council for National Reconciliation.

The release of 2,000 Taliban prisoners came to an end on Sunday, but the government has said nothing about future steps in the matter; however, the Taliban’s technical team to verify the detainees is still in Kabul.

Earlier, sources told Ariana News that the Intra-Afghan talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban will begin between 10th and 15th June – no official acknowledgment has been made though.

The government hopes that the release of prisoners could lead to starting the Intra-Afghan talks and a reduction in the level of violence; while the Taliban insist on the release of all 5,000 prisoners as a precondition to the talks.

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Stefano Pontecorvo takes office as NATO’s SCR in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: June 1, 2020)

Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo of Italy officially takes up his role, today June 1, as the new NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan, NATO confirmed in a statement.

NATO Sec-Gen Jens Stoltenberg said, “I look forward to working closely with him at this critical juncture for Afghanistan’s future.”

According to the statement, Pontecorvo will be working with the NATO-led Resolute Support mission that trains, advises, and assists the Afghan National forces as well as advising the NATO Secretary-General and the North Atlantic Council on the Alliance’s efforts in Afghanistan and relations with Afghan partners.

The statement added, “He will liaise with senior members of the Afghan government, Afghan officials and other prominent national and local officials. He will engage with representatives of the international community, Afghan civil society, and non-governmental organizations.”

His previous roles have been described as Italy’s Ambassador to Pakistan, diplomatic adviser to the Italian Defense Minister working on NATO political-military issues, including on Afghanistan, and deputy head of mission at the Italian embassies in London and Moscow.

It is noteworthy that Sir Nicholas Kay of the United Kingdom was previously serving as the NATO SCR in Afghanistan since March 2019.

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Senior Traffic Police official killed – Kapisa

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(Last Updated On: June 1, 2020)

An Afghan Traffic Police official was killed by unknown gunmen in Kapisa province on Monday, police confirmed.

Shayiq Shurish, a spokesman for the provincial police told Ariana News that Sayed Munir, head of Kapisa’s traffic department, was shot dead by unknown gunmen at around 8 a.m. Monday.

The incident has taken place in Qala-e-Sayed Khan village in Kapisa city, while Munir was on his way to his office, Shurish said.

He said the motives behind the attack yet to be determined, adding that police have begun investigations. 

So far, no group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack.

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