Balkh – Ariana News Bringing Afghan News to the World Thu, 09 May 2019 10:47:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Taliban Attack on Checkpoint Kills 5 ANP in Balkh Thu, 09 May 2019 10:47:02 +0000

At least five members of the Afghan security forces were killed and six others injured after Taliban militants attacked their checkpoints in Khulm district of Balkh province, a local official said on Thursday.

Adel Shah Adel, a spokesman for provincial police chief, said the checkpoints are located in border between Qalazal district of Kunduz and Khulum district of Balkh province.

He added that casualties have been inflicted to the Taliban militants as well but the exact number was unknown.

The police official further said that fresh troops have arrived in the area.

The insurgent group has not made a comment about the report yet.

Key Taliban Commander Arrested with Bottles of Alcohol, Weapons in Balkh Mon, 06 May 2019 10:58:11 +0000 Afghan security forces have detained a key Taliban commander and seized several bottles of alcohol from his compound in Balkh province, the Interior Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

The Taliban commander identified as Yousuf was arrested during an operation by police special forces in Nahr-Shahi district of Balkh province on Sunday night, the statement added.

Eleven bottles of alcohol, a hookah, an AK-47 rifle, a pistol, an air rifle, some military equipment, and a vehicle were also seized during the operation, the statement further said.

The insurgent group has not made a comment about the report yet.

Balkh is among the secure provinces in the north of Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgent was unable to find a foothold in the past but the security situation in some of its districts has deteriorated during the recent months.

New Police Chief Appointed for Balkh Province Wed, 10 Apr 2019 14:21:03 +0000 Mohammad Ajmal Faiz has been appointed as new police chief of Balkh province, a security source told Ariana News on Wednesday.

The new police chief of Balkh is endorsed by Ata Mohammad Noor the Chief Executive of Jamiat-e-Islami party.

Recently the government appointed General Abdul Raqib Mubaraz as Balkh police chief despite strong oppositions by Mr. Noor.

The move led to hours of gunfire and chaos in Mazar-e-Sharif City.

Following the chaos, the ministers of defense and interior met with Noor where they agreed on a “third option”.

NDS Detains Taliban Shadow District Governor in Balkh Thu, 03 Jan 2019 10:14:46 +0000

Taliban shadow district governor for Nahr Shahi district in northern Balkh province has been detained by the Afghan intelligence operatives, the agency said in a statement on Thursday.

The National Directorate of Security (NDS) statement identified the Taliban official as Najibullah who was recruited by the Taliban insurgent group about five months ago.

In a separate incident, the NDS operatives have arrested a Taliban infiltrator among Afghan Local Police (ALP).

The infiltrator planned to assassinate the commander of an ALP outpost in Chamtal district and surrender the area to the Taliban fighters.

The statement concluded that the insider had confessed during initial investigations.

Noor Threatens to Boycott Elections and Form Interim Gov’t Tue, 21 Aug 2018 13:53:11 +0000 Atta Mohammad Noor, the former governor of Balkh province and CEO of Jamiat-e-Islami party on Tuesday warned that if transparency of the upcoming elections was not guaranteed, they would boycott the elections and would announce an interim government.

Addressing at an Eid ceremony in Mazar-e-Sharif city, Noor said the political parties have set a two-week deadline for the National Unity Government (NUG) in order to bring reforms and transparency in the upcoming election processes.

“If they don’t bring changes for transparency in the electoral system and didn’t hold a fair election, we will boycott the election process in advance and will take our next step,” Noor said.

Meanwhile, Noor said the announcement of a ceasefire is not a solution to the ongoing violence, adding that Taliban militants infiltrated inside the cities during the first ceasefire and killed thousands of Afghan security forces.

“[Taliban] brought weapons inside the cities. Then, they launched rapid attacks from inside the cities and from areas close to the checkpoints and martyred 7,000 Afghan security forces,” he claimed.

Roadside Bomb Kills Eight in Balkh Province Wed, 08 Aug 2018 09:51:54 +0000 At least eight people were killed in a roadside bomb explosion in Sholgara district of Balkh province, police said Wednesday.

Provincial police spokesman Shir Jaan Durrani said that eight people lost their lives after a car and a motorbike were hit by a roadside bomb in Qushi Qezel village of Sholgara district in the province.

He added that six more people were also injured in the incident.

According to police, four children and two women are among the casualties.

No individual or group has claimed responsibility for the incident.

Leaked Documents Show IEC Staffs Stamping Fake IDs In Nangarhar Tue, 29 May 2018 09:49:57 +0000 A voter registration center is stamping on fake national identity cards in eastern Nangarhar province, a lawmaker said on Monday.

Mirwais Yasini, a member of the lower house of parliament from Nangarhar province, revealed documents showing electoral fraud in Kama district of the province.

“On May 27, these fake ID cards were stamped in Mama Khail voter registration center in Kama village,” MP Yasini said.

Yasini called on the electoral commissions to prevent such incidents.

“The commission has dismissed a female staff, but this is not enough. IEC must punish the candidate committed this act because this is a conspiracy against the national security and democracy,” he added.

This comes a day after parliamentarians and influential political parties expressed concerns over distribution of thousands of fake ID cards for individuals in order to participate in the coming elections.

German Defense Minister Meets Afghan Security Officials in Balkh Mon, 26 Mar 2018 04:42:59 +0000

Ursula Von Der Leyen, the defense minister of Germany and a number of the country’s Members of Federal Parliament visited Mazar-e-Sharif, capital city of Balkh province, yesterday and met with security officials of Northern Afghanistan.

How to support Afghan security forces generally across the country and particularly in the north was discussed during the meeting with German delegation, said Officials of Afghan 209 Military Corps which is responsible for security in Northern Afghanistan.

Mrs Ursula Von Der Leyen also declared a serious and firm support for training; advice and support programs to be provided for Afghan forces during 1397 solar year.

She also assured that German forces will continue to support Afghan people within the NATO mission until  the fulfillment of a lasting and sustainable peace and stability in Afghanistan.

As other NATO member states, the German defense minister has also reiterated that NATO members will not leave Afghanistan to be again a safe haven for Taliban, ISIS, Al-Qaeda and other regional terror groups.

ARG-Noor Dispute Ends Peacefully As Rahguzar Takes Over Balkh Leadership Thu, 22 Mar 2018 06:07:04 +0000

Mohammad Ishaq Rahguzar has been appointed as new governor of Balkh province after months of dispute between the central government and ousted governor Atta Mohammad Noor.

Rahgurzar was appointed to the post based on the agreement between Noor and Presidential Palace on Thursday, a reliable source told Ariana News on condition of anonymity.

In addition, General Akram Saame has been appointed as the replacement of Sayed Kamal Sadat, the current provincial police chief of Balkh, according to the source.

Noor decided to leave the position after the government has agreed to handover posts of Education Ministry and Afghan embassy in Kazakhstan to Jamiat-e-Islami party, the source said. 

Following the agreement, Mirwais Balkhi is expected to be nominated as Education minister while Farhad Azimi will be appointed as Afghan ambassador to Kazakhstan.

Rahguzar is a member of Jamiat-e-Islami; he previously served as police chief of Balkh province and was a member of Parliament’s 15th and 16th legislative term; while General Akram Saame previously served as governor of Paktia, Paktika and Zabul provinces; he was also a commander in Afghan National Army.  

This comes a day after Atta Mohammad Noor in his public speech on Nawruz occasion said that his party (Jamiat-e-Islami  of Afghanistan), has reached to an agreement on certain issues, following months of negotiations with the central government.

Noor Dismisses Reports of Agreement over Balkh Leadership Wed, 14 Mar 2018 13:26:44 +0000 Atta Mohammad Noor, the ousted Balkh governor, on Wednesday dismissed the recent news about the appointment of his successor.

Noor issued a statement saying that reports suggesting he had agreed to the appointment of Ishaq Rahguzar, former governor of the province, to the post were “baseless”.

He added that there hasn’t been a final agreement between the Presidential Palace (ARG) and Jamiat-e Islami party to resolve the impasse.

While he emphasize for dialogue, Noor still insists that Jamiat leadership council will call the last shot to resolve the stalemate.

“The leadership of Jamiat party have the right to approve or veto any suggestion and we haven’t seen any agreement over the nominee for Balkh governorship, Muneer Ahmad Farhad, a spokesman for the ousted governor of Balkh said.

“The governor of Balkh [Noor] will accept any decision that will be made by the leadership of Jamiat party,” Afzal Hadid, head of Balkh Provincial Council and a close aide to Noor added.

This comes after a source from President Ashraf Ghani’s office on Tuesday said that government and Noor had reached to an agreement.

Over three months ago, Ghani said he has approved the resignation of Atta Mohammad Noor and has appointed Eng. Mohammad Daud as his replacement.

Noor defied his ouster and vowed to remain in the position unless the demands of his party haven’t been met by the government.

Representatives of Jamiat party and government hold more than eight rounds of negotiations for the past two months without any resolution being found.

Rahgozar Replaces Atta Noor As Balkh Governor: Source Tue, 13 Mar 2018 09:59:13 +0000

A senior member of Jamiat-e Islami party, Ishaq Rahgozar has been appointed as the new governor for the northern Balkh province, a government source confirmed to Ariananews Tuesday.

“Recently, the Presidential Palace has agreed on appointment of Ishaq Rahgozar for the governor of Balkh seat and the nomination of Farhad Azimi and Mirwais Balkhi for the Ministry of Education position,” the source said.

Munir Ahmad, the spokesman of Noor also said that ARG and Jamiat will reach an agreement to solve the differences in the near future.

“We have discussed on different issues and hope to reach an agreement in the nearest time,” Munir Ahmad said.

However, the introduced governor of Balkh by the government, Engineer Dawood who are now in Kabul said that the government leaders have assured him to be the official governor of Balkh.

The news comes after Abdullah Abdullah, NUG’s Chief Executive said yesterday, March 12, that the tensions between Atta Mohammad Noor and Government will be resolved until last days of current solar year.

Noor was ousted from his longtime post few months ago after President Ghani signed his resignation and appointed Engineer Mohammad Dawood, another member of Jamiat Party, as new governor of Balkh province.

The decision and president’s decree was immediately refused by Mr. Atta Noor and further warned that no one including President Ghani can remove him from Balkh leadership.

Since then, Mr. Noor repeatedly insisted on his stance against the decision and said that he will remain as Balkh governor until Jamiat Party and the presidential palace reach an agreement.

Several meetings were made between Jamiat Party and the government over the issue in Kabul which mostly ended with no results.

A delegation from government consisting Masoom Istanikzai, Chief of National Directorate of Security and Salaam Rahimi, Chief of President’s Administrative Office, traveled  to Balkh province to solve the issue.

The talks have reportedly led to positive results and have reduced tension between both parties.

Gov and Noor to Reach Agreement Over Balkh Issue Mon, 05 Mar 2018 07:44:11 +0000

The government delegation and Atta Mohammad Noor, ousted Balkh governor are close to reach an agreement after days of talks behind closed doors, said Mohammad Afzal Hadid, Chief of Balkh provincial council and a close figure to Mr. Noor.

He told Ariana News that a high delegation from Kabul consisting of Masoom Istanikzai, the Chief of National Directorate of Security (NDS) and Head of Administrative Office of the President Abdul Salaam Rahimi are now very close to reach an agreement after two days talks with Mr. Noor behind closed doors.

The local official didn’t provide more details of a likely agreement between both sides.

President Ghani ousted Mr. Noor from the leadership of Balkh province nearly three months ago and replaced him with Engineer Mohammad Dawood, another member of Jamiat Party.

Since then, Atta Mohammad Noor seriously reacted against the decision and stated the time and again that no one can remove him from his post as Balkh governor, including president Ghani.

Mr. Noor referred the final decision regarding his political destiny in Balkh province to the leadership of Jamiat Party and publically stated that if no agreement was made between Jamiat Party and Government, he will remain as Balkh governor until the end of National Unity Government.

Businessman Son Abducted in Balkh Province Tue, 27 Feb 2018 07:11:55 +0000

Unknown men abducted the son of a businessman who was reportedly 8 years old late yesterday in Maza-e-Sharif, Capital City of the Northern Balkh province, informed local authorities.

“The child, 8, was kidnapped from 2nd district of Maza-e-Sharif City while he was returning from school back to home”, said Sherjan Durani, spokesman of Balkh Police Chief.

According to the local official, the child was abducted by unknown men riding a Hilux car type which was driven without license plate or plate number.

He added that investigation regarding the incident has already begun and efforts are underway for the release of the abducted child.

Incidence of criminal acts such as murder and kidnapping have significantly increased in the politically plagued northern province which was one of Afghanistan’s most secure provinces few years ago.

A businessman while transferring more than $4 million (USD) from Kabul was shot dead by some armed men in the same city yesterday.

Taliban Kills 17 Public Uprising Forces, One ALP in Balkh Sun, 21 Jan 2018 14:51:02 +0000
PHOTO: Archive

At least 17 members of public uprising forces and a local police were killed when the Taliban militants attacked them in northern Balkh province of Afghanistan on Saturday night, a security official said.

The incident has taken place during the night in Buzboy village in Sholgara district of Balkh province when a Taliban infiltrator had allowed the militants into the area.

“Unfortunately, the insurgents have martyred a local police and 17 public uprising forces including Haji Abdul Hameed and his son who was an influential local figure and head of the uprising forces,” said Abdul Raziq Qaderi, provincial deputy police chief.

According to the security official, the alleged Taliban insider has escaped the scene and joined the insurgent group.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman said the group carried out the attack and that 18 weapons were also seized.

In addition, Mujahid confirmed that one of their fighters was killed and another was injured in the clashes with the uprising forces.

Sholgara is among secure districts in Balkh province which is located 50 kilometers away from the capital Mazar-e-Sharif City.

The village which came under the Taliban attack is having a border with volatile Sar-e-Pul province and is known for their resistance to the Taliban insurgency.

Noor Threatens to Collect Hairatan’s Revenues for Employees Salaries Sun, 14 Jan 2018 14:50:29 +0000 Atta Mohammad Noor, the ousted Balkh governor, on Sunday warned that he will collect Hairatan Port revenues and make payments to employees in case central government does not pay government employees salary in the province.

“My signature is valid in all governmental offices. If government try to force me, I will make payments directly from Hairatan revenues. The government is collecting millions of dollars from Hairatan revenues and at that time they will regret and the situation will become worse,” he said.

Speaking to his supporters at a gathering in Mazar-e-Sharif City, Noor emphasized that he was still waiting for the result of negotiations between government and Jamiat-e-Islami Party. He reiterated that he won’t allow anyone to oust him from the post except through negotiation.

“I’m the governor and all of my signatures and orders are valid till the moment I leave the post on my own choice based on an agreement,” he added.

Noor also called on the international community to help Afghanistan move towards the right direction.

These remarks come a day after the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) stated that Atta Muhammad Noor’s signature in any official letter including the salaries of local employees have no validity.

Noor Accuses Central Gov’t for Distributing Weapons to ‘Thugs’ Tue, 02 Jan 2018 13:31:49 +0000 Atta Mohammad Noor, the ousted Balkh governor, on Tuesday accused Afghanistan’s National Security Council and intelligence agency for distributing arms to thugs in Kabul to destabilize Balkh province.

Speaking at a gathering of his supporters, Noor claimed that “the thugs” were being armed at two guesthouses in Kabul belonging to the National Security Council and the National Directorate of Security (NDS).

Noor warned that he would suppress such people without consultation with anyone.

In addition, he has sent a letter to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Resolute Support, Independent Human Rights Commission, Attorney General Office and security institutions to show his concerns about the attempts to destabilize Balkh province.

The newly appointed Balkh governor and Afghan intelligence agency have denied to make a comment about the allegations.

About three weeks ago, President Ghani said in a statement that he has approved the resignation of Balkh governor.

Following the announcement, Atta Mohammad Noor, who is also the CEO of Jamiat-e-Islami Party of Afghanistan, rejected the decision and vowed to fight his ouster.

Today, he said that he was waiting for the result of negotiations between government and Jamiat-e-Islami Party. He reiterated that no official can oust him from the post, except through negotiation.

At the same time, reports emerged that representatives from Jamiat-e-Islami and Ghani’s Office have held a meeting today to discuss the issue.

New Governor of Balkh to be Introduced Soon, Sources Sun, 31 Dec 2017 06:15:56 +0000 The new governor of Balkh province is set to be introduced soon, according to a source in the government who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“No one is beyond the law and Mr. Noor is no longer the governor of Balkh province. Therefore, he cannot continue into the post of Balkh governor,” the source added regarding Noor’s resignation.

President Ashraf Ghani approved the resignation of Atta Mohammad Noor weeks ago after Abdullah Abdullah, the Chief Executive agreed on approval of Noor’s resignation.

The president appointed Mohammad Dauod, a member of Jamiat party, as the new governor of Balkh province whom Mr. Noor is opposing firmly.

This comes a day after, Atta Mohammad Noor, former governor of Balkh province further reiterated on his stance against the president decision. He conditioned his removal on an agreement between Jamiat Party and the government.

Mr. Noor warned that if no agreement was not reached with Jamiat Party, he will remain as Balkh governor until the end of the National Unity Government (NUG).

Prison Break: Five Prisoners Escape from Balkh Jail Wed, 27 Dec 2017 05:47:01 +0000

Five prisoners have managed to escape in a prison break over the last night in Mazar-e-Sharif, the capital city of Balkh province, the local officials confirmed.

The prisoners after pushing into the tailor cell of the prison and destroying its wall have escaped the prison, said Abdul Razaq Qaderi, Security Commander of Balkh Police.

He further noted that the prisoners were charged with murder and kidnappings. The local police forces have started efforts to arrest these escaping prisoners.

Ghani Approves Resignation of Longtime Powerful Governor in Balkh Mon, 18 Dec 2017 05:13:45 +0000

President Ghani has approved resignation of Atta Mohammad Noor who was a longtime governor of the northern Balkh province and a key political opponent of central government.

“Mr. Noor had previously offered his resignation and Engineer Mohammad Dawood has been assigned as new governor of Balkh province,” said Shah Hussain Murtazawi, the acting spokesman of Afghan President.

Mohammad Dawood, the newly appointed Balkh governor, is said to be a member of Jamait Pary and a close individual to Mr. Attamohammad Noor.

He has reportedly majored in the field of oil and gas industry in a British based university and worked in the same field with Afghan Ministry of Mines and Petroleum.

Mr. Noor has been working as Balkh governor almost 15 years and the Northern Province due to its strategic and economic importance play a crucial role in Afghan politics. Balkh is known as the main social base of support for Atta Mohammad Noor.

The news of Noor’s resignation comes amid recent and continued pressures allegedly by the presidential palace. Abdulla Abdullah, the Chief Executive of the National Unity Government (NUG) has also reportedly showed satisfaction with Noor’s removal.

However, Jamiat Pary had warned on December 16 that “no official including President Ashraf Ghani or Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah can remove Atta Mohammad Noor”.

Speaking to Ariana News on Saturday, Abdul Hafiz Mansor, a senior member of Jamiat-e-Islami party said that “No official including the president and the Chief Executive could oust Atta Mohammad Noor”.

“Atta himself has not taken any decision yet to step down from his position,” he further noted.

The senior member of the party also warned that if government forces Atta Noor to resign, his party is ready to use “any possible option” against the government.

Atta Mohammad Noor is the only Afghan governor who has maintained his position as the powerful governor of Balkh province since the beginning of Karzai government until the current 3th year of NUG.

He was the key player of Abdullah’s block after the controversial and fraud full 2014 presidential elections in shaping the NUG between Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghanin.

There were always serious tensions between President Ashraf Ghani and Atta Mohammad Noor over not thoroughly implementation of NUG agreement.

Ashraf Ghani after sworn in as the NUG president promised brining reforms in all institutions which the removal of all governors was one of his promises.

Atta Mohammad Noor later conditioned his resignation or removal on fulfilling all his demands and a thoroughly implementation of NUG’s agreement. Since then, his relations with NUG’s Chief Execuative, Abdullah Abdullah, whom he was a key campaigner during the 2014 controversial elections, also got worsened.

Explosion in Mazar-e-Sharif Leaves 1 Dead, 2 Wounded Sun, 17 Dec 2017 07:25:31 +0000

An Afghan police commander lost his life and 2 people were wounded in an explosion which occurred today around 11:00 AM in an area belonging to 5th Police District (PD5) of Mazar-e-Sharif.

“The dead police officer was identified as Ghulam Sakhi Qateh who was in charge of Faryab Highway but the type of explosion is yet to be cleared,” said Abdul Razaq Qaderi, Security Commander of Balkh Police Chief.

However, some eyewitnesses say that 2 people were killed and 1 other wounded in the incident.

According to Mr. Qaderi, a rifle gun was also seized from the vehicle which was exploded in the area.

1 people was also killed and 1 other wounded in another explosion which was occurred earlier this month.