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Clashes intensify around the country in past 24 hours

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(Last Updated On: May 18, 2021)

A major Taliban attack in Baghlan province has been pushed back by Afghan security forces, local officials confirmed Tuesday.

According to them, at least 25 militants were killed and 10 were wounded.

Provincial officials said the Taliban attacked the Baghlan-e-Markazi district from four directions but faced serious resistance from the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF).

A clearance operation is still underway but officials have said the Taliban was pushed back and ANDSF forces are advancing.

“There is no need for anxiety. We are just slowing our operations because the enemy has laid a lot of mines and they are using people’s houses, and we want to move forward carefully to prevent civilian casualties,” said Safiullah Mohammadi, a military commander in Baghlan province.

“We assure all our people, especially the people of central Baghlan, that central Baghlan is under the control of the security forces and the enemy has suffered many casualties, and we assure you that we are moving forward,” said Sayed Kamal Wardak, district governor of Baghlan-e-Markazi district.

The ministry of defense said at least 143 Taliban were killed and 66 others were wounded in Nangarhar, Zabul, Herat, Badghis, Faryab, Balkh, Helmand, and Baghlan provinces as a result of ANDSF operations during the past 24 past hours.

Also, 52 IEDs were discovered and defused safely by the Afghan National Army.

According to the MoD, an airstrike by Afghan forces was carried out on a key Taliban stronghold in Faryab province, killing 19 Taliban members, including four commanders. Among the dead are three Pakistanis, officials said adding a number of vehicles had also been destroyed.

The 209th Shaheen Corps says an attack took place on Monday in Pashtun Kot district, where the Taliban shadow district governor for Almar district, the Taliban shadow district governor for Bala Murghab district, the Taliban military commission for Andkhoy district, a Taliban local commander and three Pakistani citizens were killed.

The Ministry of Defense meanwhile said 26 Taliban members were killed and 16 others were wounded in another airstrike that targeted a Taliban gathering in Shahjoa district of Zabul province, on Tuesday.

In addition, sources indicated that heavy clashes are ongoing between security forces and the Taliban in the Dawlatshah district of Laghman province, adding that “the Taliban attacked the district governor’s office”.

Local security forces have called for reinforcements from the Laghman provincial capital.

Local residents told Ariana News that heavy and light weapons were fired at Dawlatshah district this morning.

According to officials the director of operations at the Ministry of Defense has joined ANDSF forces in the area to help prevent the district from collapsing to the Taliban.

The Taliban meanwhile also launched an attack on the Obe district in the western province of Herat, the provincial governor Waheed Qatali said.

He said the attack started with the “destruction” of a bridge by the Taliban. The bridge, he said, connected the Obe district with other parts of the province.

“Three Taliban fighters, including their commander, were killed in the ongoing clashes,” Qatali said. “This is their first group attack in the province after the three-day Eid ceasefire.”

Nik Mohammad Nazari, a spokesman for the Badakhshan governor, said in turn the Taliban had attacked the Tashkan district of the province from “several directions” on Monday night, but they faced “heavy resistance from security forces and were pushed back”. He said the group had sustained casualties.

According to him, there had been no casualties among the ANDSF troops.

Meanwhile, Feroz Ahmad Achakzai, a security officer at a police outpost in Turghundi border town in Herat, was killed in a Taliban attack on Monday, police spokesman Abdul Ahad Walizada said.

Four Taliban were also killed in the attack, he added.

But the Taliban says Afghan forces targeted a civilian clinic in Shar-e-Kohna bazar in the central Baghlan district of Baghlan province, killing one patient and injuring eight civilians including two doctors.

The clinic, along with an ambulance and a number of other vehicles were destroyed, the group said.

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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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