Latest News – Ariana News https://ariananews.af Bringing Afghan News to the World Thu, 18 Apr 2019 14:54:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.10 Kandahar Peace Marchers Call for Ceasefire, Intra-Afghan Dialogue https://ariananews.af/kandahar-peace-marchers-call-for-ceasefire-intra-afghan-dialogue/ Thu, 18 Apr 2019 12:59:33 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=307000 Hundreds of Kandahar residents on Thursday staged a rally in the capital of the province, calling for a ceasefire and intra-Afghan dialogue between the government and the Taliban group.

“We want a peace agreement, we have gathered here for peace and we are calling for a ceasefire,” said Abdul Saboor, a peace activist.

“The people of Loy Kandahar is calling on the Taliban and the Afghan government to stop their military operations under the name of Khalid and Al-Fath,” said Mohammad Ashraf, another peace activist.

Tribal elders, youths, university, and high school students, and other residents of Kandahar province took part in this rally.

“I’m calling on the two sides to hear the voice of the people and bring peace and stability to this country,” said Abdul Hussain, one of the peace marchers.

“We want peace. We don’t want war. We are sick and tired of war. We have lost everything in the war including the lives of our loved ones,” said Abdul Ahmad, another peace marcher.

This comes as a meeting between the Taliban and Afghan politicians which was set to begin on Friday in Doha postponed due to disagreements over participants.

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Members of Peace Jirga To Be Transferred To Kabul Next Week https://ariananews.af/members-of-peace-jirga-to-be-transferred-to-kabul-next-week/ Thu, 18 Apr 2019 12:10:54 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=306995 The process of transferring members of the Consultative Loya Jirga on Peace from provinces to Kabul will begin next week, an official said.

On Thursday, Ali Kazemi, a spokesman for peace Jirga told Ariana News that all preparations for holding the Jirga are finalized.

At the same time, critics say, there is no real will for achieving an enduring peace, adding that despite huge cost the Jirga will not help in ending the long-lasting war in Afghanistan.

“This Jirga will be used as a tool for electoral campaigns rather than helping the peace process. When the goal of the Jirga is not for peace then it will not be beneficial for peace,” said Mujib Khelwatgar, a political activist.

However, Asadullah Zairi a member of the High Peace Council (HPC) emphasize that the cost of holding this Jirga is less than the cost of war.

The Consultative Peace Jirga is scheduled for 29th of April in which at least two thousand people from across the country would participate.

Major politicians and presidential candidates have boycotted the Jirga, calling it a political campaign for President Ashraf Ghani, but the commission responsible for holding the Jirga emphasize that they will hold it on time.

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Two Pilgrims Arrested at Kabul Airport on Charges of Drug Smuggling https://ariananews.af/two-pilgrims-arrested-at-kabul-airport-on-charges-of-drug-smuggling/ Thu, 18 Apr 2019 09:50:50 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=306974 Two suspects were detained in Kabul international airport for smuggling more than eight kilograms of narcotics to Saudi Arabia, police said on Thursday.

According to a statement released by the Afghan Ministry of Interior Affairs (MoIA), a husband and wife posing themselves as Umrah pilgrims were detained on Thursday while they were smuggling 8.5KG drugs to Saudi Arabia.

The drugs were skillfully embedded inside shampoo bottles, soaps, towels, prayer mat, Ihram clothing, bed sheets, and other items, the statement added.

In the past, many drug smugglers had been arrested from the airports in Afghanistan, but this is the first time two pilgrims detained on charges of drug trafficking.

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Afghan Delegation’s Trip to Qatar Delayed https://ariananews.af/afghan-delegations-trip-to-qatar-delayed/ Thu, 18 Apr 2019 07:35:13 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=306963 The Afghan delegation’s trip to Qatar has been delayed due to disagreements over participants.

The Afghan government announced Tuesday a list of 250 people to attend at the intra-Afghan dialogue with the Taliban representatives in Doha, the capital of Qatar.

Taliban on Wednesday slammed the government lengthy list of participants, saying it is not an invitation to some wedding at a hotel in Kabul.

Meanwhile, some politicians including Ata Mohammad Noor the former governor of Balkh province and Amrullah Saleh the former Afghan intelligence chief said they will not attend the meeting due to reasons.

The delegation was scheduled to leave Kabul for Doha on Thursday afternoon but it is said to be delayed at least for hours.

The insurgent group has also finalized a list of 25 participants that will attend the meeting.

The representatives of the Taliban headed by Abbas Stanekzai includes Salaam Hanafi, Amir Khan Mutaqi, Abdul Latif Mansour, Matiulhaq Khales, Abdul Manan Omari, Sayed Rasoul Haleem, Shahabuddin Delavar, Din Mohammad, Abdul Rahman Madani, Mullah Zahid Ahmadzai, Suhail Shaheen, Mohammad Fazel Mazlum, Khairullah Khair Khwa, Mohammad Nabi Omari, Abdul Haq Waseq, Mullah Noorullah Noori, Ziaulhaq Madani, Abdul Ahad Jahangirwal, Amar Yaser, Merza Gul Saleh, Mohammad Naim Wardak, Mullah Daud Abed, Mohiuddin Sadat, and Rasool Ul Haq Aziz.

The Qatar meeting is scheduled to be held on 19-21 April.

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Ghani Calls on Qatar Delegation to Convince Taliban for Talks with Government https://ariananews.af/ghani-calls-on-qatar-delegation-to-convince-taliban-for-talks-with-government/ Wed, 17 Apr 2019 15:18:04 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=306914 President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday called on Afghan delegation for talks with the Taliban to convince the insurgent group to negotiate with the Afghan government.

“Share the realities, hopes, pains, and views of current Afghanistan with the Taliban. Understand them and let them understand you. It is important to understand each other and this must be done with absolute respect, tolerance, strength, and courage,” Ghani said while speaking to the Afghan delegation at the presidential palace.

In addition, Ghani asked the Afghan delegation to convince Taliban that they have no other option accept talking directly with the government of Afghanistan and there is no other solution to end the ongoing violence in the country.

He also called for unity in engaging with the Taliban, saying “it is not about we and you, we should all become we.”

The President emphasized that a historic opportunity has been created for Afghans to resolve their longstanding problems with deep deliberation and discussions.

This comes as Taliban in a statement has slammed the Afghan government lengthy list of participants for Qatar meeting, insisting that the representatives of the group will not be negotiating with any official as government envoy.

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Afghan Defense Minister Announces His Conditions for Peace Talks https://ariananews.af/afghan-defense-minister-announces-his-conditions-for-peace-talks/ Wed, 17 Apr 2019 14:47:44 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=306905 The Afghan Minister of Defense Asadullah Khalid says he supports the peace talks only if the sacrifices of Afghan forces are respected.

“We support the ongoing peace talks in anywhere, but there must be no other war under the name of peace. Our sacrifices must not be ignored. The achievements of nearly last two decades must not be destroyed,” Khalid said while speaking at the graduation of special forces in Kabul.

Khalid further says that there are several terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan and are being supported by regional countries.

He emphasizes that rumors about the elimination of the Afghan National Army (ANA) are just “nonsense talks”.

“Whatever nonsense talks you hear from any irresponsible person regarding the elimination of the army is not true. If peace comes you soldiers will be the owner of that,” Khalid added.

This comes as both the Afghan government and the Taliban insurgent group have announced their military operation. However, intra-Afghan peace talks are also expected to be held between the government delegation and Taliban representatives in Qatar this weekend.

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Flash Floods Kill 235 People, Destroy 15000 Homes in Afghanistan https://ariananews.af/flash-floods-kill-235-people-destroy-15000-homes-in-afghanistan/ Wed, 17 Apr 2019 13:44:21 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=306895 At least 235 people have died and more than 15,000 houses destroyed due to flash floods in Afghanistan, an official said on Wednesday.

“235 people are dead, 38 people are missing, and 294 are injured. 15153 houses are totally damaged,” said Reshad Aziz, an official in Afghanistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA).

According to the official, nearly two thousand houses are partially damaged and more than ten thousand animals have been killed in the recent floods across the country.

The government has aided more than 30,000 flood affected families, Aziz further said.

However, the victims say they have not received any support from the government.

“We don’t have a blanket to wear at night. We have escaped from our homes,” said Shams-ul Rahman, a resident of Parwan province.

“We lost everything. How the government aids help us,” said Abdul Rahman, a resident of Sar-e Pol province.

Annually, heavy rainfalls leading to flash floods affect thousands of people across the country.

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Taliban Slams Gov’t List for Doha Talks https://ariananews.af/taliban-slams-govt-list-for-doha-talks/ Wed, 17 Apr 2019 12:55:12 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=306884 The Taliban insurgent group on Wednesday slammed the Afghan government lengthy list of participants for Qatar summit.

The Afghan government announced Tuesday a list of 250 people that will attend at the intra-Afghan dialogue in Doha, the capital of Qatar.

But the Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement that “the creators of Kabul list” must realize that it is a meeting in Gulf country and “not an invitation to some wedding” at a hotel in Kabul.

The statement further said that the representatives of the group will not be negotiating with any official as government envoy.

Meanwhile, some politicians said they will not attend at the meeting due to reasons.

In a statement, Atta Mohammad Noor, the Chief Executive of Jamiat Islami and former governor of Balkh province said he will not attend with this running order, adding that it is Ghani’s intentional act to sabotage the peace efforts.

Noor also said that the list of participants ignores social balance and the presence of “the Jihad and resistance faction as an important side”.

In addition, Amrullah Saleh, the running mate of President Ashraf Ghani in 2019 presidential election and former intelligence chief also said that he will not go to the meeting.

“I remain grateful to President Ashraf Ghani for adding me in the list of speakers to represent the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Doha conference. However I won’t attend. Taliban are the only and the biggest obstacle to peace as they continue the campaign of massacre and destruction,” Saleh tweeted on Wednesday.

The Qatar meeting is scheduled to be held on 19-21 April.

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Famous Taliban Commander Detained in Farah https://ariananews.af/famous-taliban-commander-detained-in-farah/ Wed, 17 Apr 2019 12:27:38 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=306882 Afghan security forces have detained a famous Taliban commander Mullah Azizullah also known as Zakaria in western Farah province, the Afghan Ministry of Defense (MoD) said on Wednesday.

According to a statement released, the Taliban commander has been arrested by the Afghan National Police (ANP) based on intelligence reports.

The statement further said that Mullah Azizullah was involved in terror attacks in Helmand, Badghis, Herat, Nimruz and Farah provinces.

The Taliban commander was injured during recent fighting between the government forces and Taliban fighters in Nad Ali district of Helmand and was taken to Farah province, the statement added.

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Cases of Torture Reduced in Afghanistan Prisons: UNAMA https://ariananews.af/cases-of-torture-reduce-in-afghanistan-prisons-unama/ Wed, 17 Apr 2019 07:48:15 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=306790

In its latest report on the treatment of conflict-related detainees in Afghanistan published today, the UN documents an encouraging reduction in the number of cases of torture since 2016 but notes its ongoing concern at the high number of detainees who continue to report torture and ill-treatment.

The joint report by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the UN Human Rights Office, issued on the first anniversary of Afghanistan’s accession to the Convention Against Torture’s Optional Protocol, finds that nearly a third of conflict-related detainees interviewed provided credible and reliable accounts of having been subject to torture or ill-treatment.

The report is based on interviews with 618 detainees held in 77 facilities in 28 provinces across the country between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2018.

The report acknowledges the progress made by the Government in implementing Afghanistan’s National Plan on the Elimination of Torture and highlights that this enforcement has had tangible results, with a reduction in torture or ill-treatment of conflict-related detainees across different security entities in the country.

Overall, among those in the custody of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces, 32 percent based of the sample of the detainees reported torture and ill-treatment, compared to 39 percent over the previous reporting period (1 January 2015 to 31 December 2016). Notably, the reduction was more marked in 2018. In particular, within facilities of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), the prevalence of torture and ill-treatment of those interviewed decreased from 29 percent to 19 percent in 2018. And among conflict-related detainees held by the Afghan National Police (ANP), the proportion of those who reported torture or ill-treatment fell from 45 percent over the previous reporting period to 31 percent. Youngsters were at a higher risk of suffering mistreatment.

While the reduction in the number of cases is encouraging, the report notes that the “decline in the use of torture or ill-treatment is not yet significant enough to indicate that the remedial measures taken are sufficient.” The most common form of torture and ill-treatment reported was beatings.

The vast majority of detainees said they had been tortured or ill-treated to force them to confess and that the treatment stopped once they did so.

There are also major differences depending on the location of the detention facilities. While, on average, 31 percent of those ANP facilities reported torture or ill-treatment, the rate in the ANP facility in Kandahar was a very disturbing 77 percent, including allegations of brutal forms of torture, such as suffocation, electric shocks, pulling of genitals and suspension from ceilings. Allegations of enforced disappearances in Kandahar also persisted during the reporting period.

While the report highlights significant improvements for the NDS facilities in Kandahar and Herat, the treatment of conflict-related detainees in some NDS facilities also remains of concern, particularly those located in Kabul, Khost and Samangan provinces, as well as by the NDS counter-terrorism department. The report also highlights instances of unlawful and arbitrary detention, including following mass arrests, by NDS Special Forces and the Khost Protection Force.

The report further raises concern about poor conditions of detention observed within the Afghan National Army-run Detention Facility in Parwan, including overcrowding, inadequate lighting, the use of solitary confinement as the sole disciplinary measure and restrictions on family visits and access to lawyers.

“We welcome the steps taken by the Government to prevent and investigate cases of torture and ill-treatment over the past two years. However, as our report illustrates, there is still a long way to go to eradicate this horrendous practice among conflict-related detainees,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the U.N. Special Envoy for Afghanistan.

“Respect for the rule of law and human rights is the best way to create the conditions for sustainable peace,” he added.

The report emphasizes violations and challenges in other areas, among them, legal limitations on the right of conflict-related detainees to judicial oversight; lack of implementation of key procedural and other legal safeguards to prevent torture (medical screening, access to lawyers, etc.); continued absence of accountability for perpetrators, with very limited referrals to prosecution; and lack of any meaningful possibility of obtaining an effective judicial or administrative remedy.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said the report’s findings demonstrate that the policies put in place to combat torture and ill-treatment were having effect – but they were far from sufficient.

“A year ago, on this day, the Government of Afghanistan committed itself to the prevention of torture by acceding to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture,” Bachelet said.

“I urge the Government to work swiftly to create a National Preventive Mechanism to ensure independent, impartial scrutiny of the treatment of detainees. A well-resourced watchdog of this sort, which is able to make unannounced visits to places of detention and raise awareness of what constitutes torture and ill-treatment according to international human rights law, can go a long way towards the ultimate goal of fully eradicating torture.”

The status and treatment of conflict-related detainees held by Anti-Government Elements is not covered by the report.

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UN Condemns Taliban Announcement of Spring Offensive https://ariananews.af/un-condemns-taliban-announcement-of-spring-offensive/ Wed, 17 Apr 2019 04:42:51 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=306780

Members of the United Nations Security Council condemned the announcement by the Taliban of a spring offensive, which will only result in more unnecessary suffering and destruction for the Afghan people, the UNSC said in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement said that the members of the Security Council recognized the Afghan people’s strong desire for sustainable peace in Afghanistan. They underscored that calls for more fighting will not advance the goal of making a sustainable peace.

The members of the Security Council called on all parties to the conflict to seize the opportunity to begin an inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue and negotiations that result in a political settlement, the statement noted.

The members of the Security Council reiterated the importance of an inclusive Afghan-led and-owned peace process for the long-term prosperity and stability of Afghanistan, and expressed their full support for the Afghan Government’s efforts to that end, the statement added.

The members of the Security Council reiterated that, as mandated by the Security Council, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General stand ready to provide their good offices to support the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process, if requested by and in close consultation with the Afghan Government.

It comes as the Taliban militant group announced its annual spring offensive operation Al-Fath “the Victory” on Friday, April 12, saying that the group would continue fighting as long as foreign forces remained in the country.

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20 Taliban Insurgents Killed, Wounded in Faryab Clashes https://ariananews.af/20-taliban-insurgents-killed-wounded-in-faryab-clashes/ Tue, 16 Apr 2019 10:38:23 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=306724

At least 20 Taliban militants were killed or Wounded in clashes with the Afghan security forces in northern Faryab province, a local official said on Tuesday.

Karim Yurish, a spokesman for Faryab police told Ariana News that the Taliban militants attacked Dawlat Abad district of Faryab and faced “resistance” by the Afghan security forces on Monday night.

Yurish said at least 20 Taliban insurgents were killed or wounded, as the security forces have pushed back the militants.

A number of Taliban key commanders were also injured in the incident.

The Taliban has not made a comment about the incident yet.

It comes as the insurgent group has announced their spring offensive operation aimed to target the Afghan security personnel across the country.

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Afghan Gov’t Announces List Of Qatar Delegation https://ariananews.af/afghan-govt-announces-list-of-qatar-delegation/ Tue, 16 Apr 2019 10:24:55 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=306715

The Afghan government on Tuesday announced a 250-member delegation for peace talks with the Taliban in Doha, the capital of Qatar. 

The Afghan delegation list is consists of 250 members including 52 women.

The delegation includes government senior officials, Jihadi leaders, tribal elders, representatives of political parties, political figures, High Peace Council members, religious clerics, civil society, women, youths and journalists.

The statement shared by President Ghani’s deputy spokesman Shah Hussain Murtazawi indicates that 250 people including 52 women will attend the meeting.

Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah’s two deputies Mohammad Khan and Mohammad Mohaqqiq are also included in the Afghan delegation.

Meanwhile, the names of former Jihadi leaders and former senior officials of government including Mohammad Hanif Atmar, Ismail Khan, Atta Mohammad Noor, and Mohammad Yunus Qanooni.

The list also includes the President Ghani’s Chief of Staff Abdul Salam Rahimi, his presidential election running mate Amrullah Saleh, head of the Presidential Office of the President Abdul Waheed Qatali and some other government officials.

The meeting is scheduled to be held on 19-21 April in Doha, the capital of Qatar.

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Presidential Candidates Boycott Consultative Peace Jirga https://ariananews.af/presidential-candidates-boycott-consultative-peace-jirga/ Mon, 15 Apr 2019 13:56:08 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=306532 On Monday, a number of electoral tickets for the upcoming presidential election boycotted the Consultative Loya Jirga on Peace which is due to be organized in Kabul on April 29.

Electoral tickets led by presidential candidates Mohammad Hanif Atmar, Rahmatullah Nabil, Ahmad Wali Massoud, and Noorulhaq Ulomi called the Jirga a waste of time and electoral campaign by President Ashraf Ghani.

Qadir Shah, a spokesman for Mr. Atmar’s Peace and Moderation electoral ticket said that the agenda and the objective of the Jirga are not clear and transparent.

Mr. Nabil’s electoral ticket said in a statement that the team tasked with the preparations and convening of the Jirga is comprised of individuals from a particular electoral team which lacks legitimacy and acceptance on the national level.

Latif Nazari, Second Deputy of Ahmad Wali Massoud said the electoral ticket will not attend at the Jirga and will oppose it.

Meanwhile, Noorulhaq Ulomi, a hopeful presidential candidate called the Jirga a political trick and an electoral campaign for President Ghani that will waste millions of dollar for idle.

This comes a day after Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said that members of his electoral ticket would not attend at the Jirga, adding that the gathering is not helpful to overcome the current challenges in the country.

Last week, the Taliban insurgent group also rejected the Consultative Peace Jirga, calling it an attempt by the government to ensure it’s “illegitimate survival”.

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Afghan Delegation for Qatar Talks Finalized https://ariananews.af/afghan-delegation-for-qatar-talks-finalized/ Mon, 15 Apr 2019 13:06:40 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=306528 After several days of negotiations, the Reconciliation Leadership Council has finalized the list of participants for the Qatar meeting, a member of the Council said on Monday.

Mohammad Ismail Khan who is also a participant in Doha meeting told Ariana News that 150 people including 40 women will attend at the meeting.

He added that the list includes 75 participants from government officials and 75 others from politicians.

The names of the participants are not publicized yet, but Mr. Ismail Khan said the list is expected to be revealed by Tuesday.

He further said the government wanted to have more representatives in the list so the process of finalizing the list delayed for the last couple of days.

Meanwhile, sources close to the Taliban say that the group is preparing to attend the meeting, adding that about 25 Taliban representatives including members of the negotiating team have been chosen to attend the meeting.

“Possibly the representatives of the two side will arrive in Doha on Thursday and they will attend at the Friday prayer together,” said Mawlawi Qalamuddin, a former Taliban official.

The meeting is scheduled to be held on 19-21 April in Doha, the capital of Qatar.

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Sancharak District on Verge of Collapse https://ariananews.af/sancharak-district-on-verge-of-collapse/ Mon, 15 Apr 2019 11:36:26 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=306501

The Archto and Bazar Bashi villages in Sancharak district of northern Sar-e-Pul province collapsed to the hand of the Taliban militants, a local official confirmed on Monday.

Naqibullah Daqiq, the district governor for Sancharak told Ariana News that the Taliban insurgents have completely captured both villages as the security forces have retreated to the district city.

Daqiq said the Sancharak city is under siege and the Taliban insurgents are advancing.

According to Daqiq, clashes between the Taliban militants and Afghan security forces broke out a day ago when dozens of the Taliban fighters attacked the district.

Daqiq did not give information about the causalities.

Meanwhile, the Taliban has also confirmed that its fighters have captured Archto and Bazar Bashi area of Sancharak.

In a separate incident, the Taliban insurgents overrun security outposts at Soghbel area of Sar-i-pul capital on Sunday night.

A security source told Ariana News that at least one soldier was killed and 12 others were wounded after the militants stormed the outpost.

The source said that the militants set ablaze two security outposts and at least two Taliban fighters were also killed and three others wounded in the incident.

However, the Taliban claimed that four Afghan soldiers were killed in the attack.

The local officials have not made a comment about the incidents yet.

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Girls’ School Set Ablaze in Farah https://ariananews.af/girls-school-set-ablaze-in-farah/ Mon, 15 Apr 2019 10:57:57 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=306497

Unidentified militants set ablaze a girls’ school on Sunday night in western Farah province, a local official confirmed.

Sadiq Halimi, deputy head of the Farah Education Directorate told Ariana News that armed men entered the “Shahid Binafsha” Girls High School and placed explosives inside the building and detonated it afterward.

According to him, the incident took place at Naw Deh area of central Farha city.

During the last two months at least four girls school were destroyed or set ablaze in central Farah city, Halimi said.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

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Khalilzad Urges Taliban to Agree to Ceasefire https://ariananews.af/khalilzad-urges-taliban-to-agree-to-ceasefire/ Mon, 15 Apr 2019 10:21:46 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=306487

The U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad on Monday Urged the Taliban militants to agree to a ceasefire.

“The quickest way to prevent casualties is to agree to a ceasefire. Taliban senior leadership should allow their representatives to come to the table and discuss. I will continue to press the case,” Khalilzad said on a Twitter post.

Khalilzad said the reason that the U.S. entered peace talks is that “more war is not the answer.”

“During talks, I have proposed ways to reduce violence. By refusing to work with us to end the killing, the Talibs are prolonging it. Let Afghan people judge whether Talib statements encouraging more violence is way forward,” he tweeted.

Khalilzad reiterated that the Afghan people “deserve” and want a comprehensive “ceasefire” and negotiations leading to a lasting peace. “The US stands with them,” he said.

“We did not impose this war. Afghanistan has been at war for decades, at times with each other. Tens of thousands of innocent civilians have died. Rather than another season of fighting, Afghans are demanding a new way forward,” he noted.

It comes as the Taliban militant group has launched their spring offensive operation Al-Fath “the Victory” against the Afghan security and defense forces across the country.

Meanwhile, the Afghan government condemned the announcement adding that the Afghan security forces are ready to respond to any possible attack by the Taliban insurgents. 

Zalmay Khalilzad has held five rounds of talks with the Taliban on the Afghan peace to end the 17-year conflict in the war-weary country.

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Seven Children Killed, Eight Wounded in Laghman Explosion https://ariananews.af/seven-children-killed-eight-wounded-in-laghman-explosion/ Sun, 14 Apr 2019 15:42:24 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=306430 At least seven children were killed and eight others wounded when an unexploded ordnance detonated in the eastern Laghman province late on Sunday, a local official said.

Provincial governor’s spokesman Assadullah Dawlatzai told Ariana News that the incident took place while the children were playing outside their houses in Basram area in Mihtarlam city, the capital of Laghman province.

He added that the injured victims were taken to the hospital and are in a stable condition.

According to the official, the ordnance hit the children was fired by the Taliban militants over a security outpost and it remained unexploded.

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National Arghawan Festival Held in Parwan Province https://ariananews.af/national-arghawan-festival-held-in-parwan-province/ Sun, 14 Apr 2019 15:19:35 +0000 https://ariananews.af/?p=306394 On Sunday government officials, writers, poets, and people from different parts of the country gathered at Gul Ghondi Hill in northern Parwan province to celebrate the National Arghawan festival.

Speaking at the event, Muzhgan Mustafavi, Information and Culture Deputy Minister for Tourism said Afghanistan is not a place to be a battleground but rather it is a house of peace.

At the same event, Fazluddin Ayar, the Governor of Parwan emphasized on the unity among Afghan people, adding that Afghanistan is home to all Afghans.

Visitors of the beautiful hill of Gul Ghondi asked the government to work for peace and construction of the country.

“We want peace and places for entertainment,” said Ihsanullah, a visitor of Gul Ghondi from northern Balkh province.

“I hope there is no war and our people live in peace,” said Fiaz, another visitor from Kapisa province.

“I took part in this festival to leave all of the problems and challenges far behind and stay happy in this beautiful place,” said Neda Hussna, a resident of Parwan province.

Gul Ghondi Hill is a stunningly beautiful place located in the west of Parwan province where visitors from all across the country come for picnic and to see the blossom of flowers called Arghawan.

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