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Britain’s war in Afghanistan has cost over $31 billion

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(Last Updated On: June 7, 2021)

Britain’s war in Afghanistan has cost UK taxpayers £22.2billion ($31.3 billion), the United Kingdom’s government has revealed.

According to a report in the UK’s Mirror on Monday, is likely to be even higher because the bill disclosed by Defence Minister James Heappey only counts cash from a special Whitehall fund for the conflict.

Revealing the cost in a written parliamentary answer, Heappey said: “As at May 2021, the total cost of Operation Herrick to HM Treasury Special Reserve is £22.2billion,” the Mirror reported.

The Mirror also reported that while the financial cost is huge, the impact on some UK servicemen and women has been devastating.

“There were 457 fatalities on, or subsequently due to, Op Herrick. Of which 403 were due to hostile action. Op Herrick ran between January 1, 2006 and November 30, 2014, during which there were 10,382 UK Service personnel casualties. Of these 5,705 were injuries, and the remainder being illness or disease,” said Heappey.

“Between January 1, 2006 and March 31, 2021, there were 645 UK Service personnel who were categorised as very seriously injured, seriously injured or who sustained a traumatic or surgical amputation due to Op Herrick.

“This includes any amputations in recent years that were elective or necessary during treatment as a result of previous injuries sustained,” the Mirror quoted Heappey as saying.

British combat troops left Afghanistan in 2014 and the UK’s remaining 750 troops – Black Watch soldiers who are involved in training local forces after – started to pull out of the country last month.

Most are expected to have returned home by the end of next month.

Heappey meanwhile said: “The majority of UK military equipment will be returned to the UK.

“Some equipment may be demilitarised and disposed of in theatre should it be deemed uneconomical to recover to the UK.”

The Mirror meanwhile reported that on Sunday it emerged dozens of RAF transport planes will be sent to fly 3,000 Afghan interpreters and their families from Kabul to the UK amid fears for their safety after allied troops leave.

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India hosting key SCO anti-terror meeting

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(Last Updated On: May 16, 2022)

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s (SCO) anti-terror body Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) representatives came together Monday for the start of a three-day meeting in New Delhi.

Among those attending is a three-member Pakistani delegation that arrived in India on Saturday via the Wagah border.

The situation in Afghanistan and the worsening humanitarian crisis in the country is expected to be on the agenda.

According to Indian media reports, New Delhi is also expected to raise issues regarding the security situation in Afghanistan.

The RATS is the Executive Committee of the SCO, headquartered in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, which is a permanent unit of the organisation which serves to promote cooperation of member states against terrorism, separatism and extremism.

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IEA says girls’ schools will reopen soon

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(Last Updated On: May 16, 2022)

Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesman for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), and deputy minister of the IEA’s Ministry of Information and Culture, said progress has been made at a meeting of religious scholars and girls’ schools would reopen soon.

Speaking to reporters in Kabul on Sunday Mujahid said: “Good progress has been made at the meeting of the country’s scholars regarding the reopening of girls’ schools and other major political issues, and girls’ schools will be reopened in the near future.”

He said that the meeting, attended by tribal leaders and influential people of the country, is focusing on major political, security and social issues.

“The Ulema are consulting on the reopening of girls’ schools, and progress will be made soon,” said Mujahid.

Meanwhile, Anas Haqqani, a senior member of the Islamic Emirate, said on Wednesday that a meeting of religious scholars would be held to discuss the issue of girls going to school.

The closure of girls’ schools above the sixth grade sparked a major outcry around the world with the international community repeatedly calling for schools to reopen.

Officials at the Ministry of Education of the Islamic Emirate have said that they will reopen girls’ schools in the near future within the framework of Islamic principles.

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Uzbekistan to host international conference on Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: May 16, 2022)

Tashkent will host a high-level international conference on Afghanistan at the end of July, Uzbekistan’s interim Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Norov announced.

Norov said the key focus would be on security, political stability and the socio-economic development of the region.

“As for Afghanistan, unfortunately, we are seeing a decrease in the attention of the international community to the situation in this country. Meanwhile, the situation there remains difficult, due to the acute economic crisis and the difficult humanitarian situation, challenges to regional security and stability remain,” he said.

Tashkent Times reported that Norov felt the international community should take responsibility for the present and future of Afghanistan and provide continued assistance to resolve problems in the country.

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