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Civilians Bore Brunt of ‘Escalating Violence in July’

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(Last Updated On: August 3, 2019)

The preliminary findings of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) shows that more than 1,500 civilians were killed and injured in July-the highest number of any month in the current year, says UNAMA in a statement.

“The main driver in July was a sharp rise in civilian causalities caused by Anti-Government Elements (AGES), the statement adds.

According to the statement, the attacks by Taliban on July 1st in Kabul, on July 18th in Kandahar, and on July 7th in Ghazni left 578 civilians killed and wounded; more than 80 victims were children.

“As peace efforts have intensified in recent weeks so too has the conflict on the ground,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan.

“I call on all parties not to ramp up military operations thinking that doing so will give them a stronger position in talks about peace,” said the envoy, who is also head of UNAMA.

Based on the statement, the suicide attack by Daesh in Kabul on July 25th against a Ministry of Mines and Petroleum bus left seven civilians killed and 32 other wounded.

In addition, the attack targeting the civilians at Kabul University left eight civilians killed and 36 others wounded, the statement adds.

Moreover, the statement says that the airstrike on a residential house by the government in Bala Murghab district of Badghis province and the nightly attack of the national security forces on a hospital also left civilian causalities in July.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) stresses that the AGES and especially the Taliban have been the main cause of civilian causalities.

This comes as UNAMA previously had announced that over 4,000 civilians have been killed or injured in the first six months of 2019 where the government supporting forces have been the reason behind these causalities.

However, the Afghan government describes the figures inaccurate while UNAMA says that it proves all the reports by providing evidence.

The Taliban group has not made any comment on this report of UNAMA yet.

COVID-19

Gov’t officials don’t follow health guidelines, social distancing

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(Last Updated On: June 3, 2020)

The failure to comply with health guidelines and social distancing in gatherings by a number of high-ranking government officials has been criticized.

Citizens blame officials for being negligent to the Coronavirus, saying that their behavior is a sign of the government’s reluctance in the fight against the virus.

In the latest instance, the chairman of the High Reconciliation Council amongst other officials attended a ceremony without abiding by the health guidelines and/or social distancing.

That is, Salem Izadiar’s commemoration ceremony with the presence of high-ranked government officials and citizens, including high-ranking officials – without keeping any of the health guidelines in mind, is considered to be one of the main causes of Coronavirus outbreak.

Additionally, the Minister of Interior Affairs, who is considered as one of the key officials in the fight against Coronavirus, also attended a meeting in Baghlan, not taking into account any social distancing and/or health measures.

It is worth mentioning that recently Rashid Bashir, the police chief of Kunduz province, and Fahim Qarluq, the governor of Qala-e-Zal district the province, died of the virus.

The Ministry of Public Health has frequently expressed concerns over social non-compliance with health guidelines and its dire consequences.

On the other hand, the death toll from the virus has increased; however, only a part of the fatalities are officially recorded, but a larger proportion of Covid-19 positive or suspicious deaths are, for some reason, not reported at all.

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Dr. Ayaz Niazi’s assassination triggers queries

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(Last Updated On: June 3, 2020)

The assassination of Dr. Ayaz Niazi, imam of the Wazir Akbar Khan Mosque, has raised questions and reactions.

Dr. Niazi became the target of an IED explosion at the mosque yesterday evening while preparing for the evening prayer.

He died at the hospital of deadly injuries.

A number of military experts have called yesterday’s incident a ‘political terrorist attack’ and blamed the security agencies for not preventing such attacks in Kabul.

Intelligence experts attribute the weakness in the intelligence agencies that leads to such horrific attacks.

President Ghani personally visited the Mohammad Dawood Khan hospital today and, while praying for the deceased and offering condolences to his family, he ordered security agencies to follow up on the incident.

Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry has announced the formation of a delegation to investigate the incident and arrest its perpetrators.

About Dr. Ayaz Niazi:

Dr. Mohammad Ayaz Niazi was 56 years old and was born in Yamgan district of Badakhshan province. At the age of twelve, he learned the holy Quran by heart. After high school, he joined Al-Azhar University in Egypt and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Islamic Economics. Also, he had a Ph.D. in Islamic Jurisprudence from Al-Azhar University in Egypt. Dr. Niazi served as a professor at the Faculty of Sharia at Kabul University and as imam at the Mohammad Wazir Akbar Khan Mosque.

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Covid-19 impacts; Afghanistan’s exports on hold

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(Last Updated On: June 3, 2020)

Afghanistan’s exports to other countries have been stalled due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus and no alternatives have been considered yet.

The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) blames the government for failing to remove hurdles in Afghanistan’s exports, saying that the private sector will lose millions of dollars if trade with neighboring countries does not resume.

Officials in ACCI say that trade routes with neighboring countries have been blocked since the outbreak of the coronavirus, and the government has failed to find alternatives.

On the other hand, experts attribute the lack of work capacity in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Afghanistan to the decline in exports to other countries.

“Officials at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Afghanistan have failed to come up with a basic plan for exports and investment in the country,” experts say.

With the outbreak of the Coronavirus in the country, a number of countries, including Iran and Pakistan, have closed their borders with Afghanistan.

In addition to the cessation of Afghanistan’s exports, this act sparked prices to rise domestically.

Meanwhile, experts and traders believe that the government should look for alternative ways to keep the drift of export and import alive.

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