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Ghani Plans to Form State Ministry for Reconciliation Affairs

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(Last Updated On: June 16, 2019)

President Ashraf Ghani is expected to form a new ministry for peace and reconciliation after more than 3,000 participants of a consultative Jirga on peace recommended the closure of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council.

Sources in the government say that President Ghani wants to appoint his Chief of Staff Abdul Salaam Rahimi in the position.

Mohiuddin Munsif, an Afghan senator believes that the new move is wastage of government budget and the government should appoint trusted figures to the High Peace Council.

The presidential palace denied making a comment about the decision.

However, sources in the High Peace Council and Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Office who wish not to be named said that the decision is not final yet.

If the new plan is approved the fate of High Peace Council will remain unknown.

Ataulrahman Saleem, a senior official at the HPC argues that the Council had some achievements despite failures.

Meanwhile, sources close to the Taliban says that a delegation of the Taliban militant group has traveled to Beijing to hold talks with Chinese officials ahead of their seventh round of talks with the United States in Qatar.

Taliban visit from China comes after a scheduled intra-Afghan meeting in Norway was canceled due to the Taliban’s disagreement over the presence of Amrullah Saleh and Salaam Rahimi.

“Norwegian officials told Taliban that the Afghan government officials will attend at the meeting; therefore, Taliban apologized from Norwegian officials for being unable to attend at the meeting and instead they traveled to China,” said Waheed Muzhda, a pro-Taliban political analyst.

Ghulam Farooq Majroh, an Afghan lawmaker says that without flexibility the Afghan peace process will not have a result.

This comes just days ahead of the Taliban’s latest round of talks with the US in Qatar that will be followed by a German-Qatar hosted intra-Afghan dialogue.

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Flash flood warning issued for nine provinces

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(Last Updated On: September 29, 2020)

Afghanistan’s Meteorological Department (AMD) on Tuesday issued a flash flood warning for nine provinces, including Kabul and Parwan. 

AMD said on its website rain and possible flooding can be expected in Kabul, Kunar, Nuristan, Laghman, Kapisa, Panjshir, Parwan, Nangarhar and Badakhshan provinces over the next 24 hours. 

Rainfall of between 10 and 20 mm has been forecast. 

This warning comes after August’s torrential rain across 13 provinces left close to 200 people dead and thousands homeless.

The worst-hit province was Parwan, which saw torrents of water destroy hundreds of homes in the provincial capital Charikar. 

 

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Almost 100 dead as Armenia, Azerbaijan clashes continue

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(Last Updated On: September 29, 2020)

Almost 100 people, including civilians, have been killed as battles between Armenia and Azerbaijan continued Tuesday, for the third day, over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory. 

Both Armenia and Azerbaijan said that heavy fighting had continued overnight.

The self-proclaimed authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh said 87 of their military personnel had been killed and 120 wounded since Sunday.

According to the Armenpress news agency, they put the fatality figure on the Azerbaijani side at nearly 400.

Azerbaijan has not revealed its military losses but has confirmed seven civilian deaths.

Although the fighting started in the Nagorno-Karabakh territory on Sunday, clashes appeared to be spilling over the border on Tuesday. 

Armenia’s defense ministry said a passenger bus had been hit by an Azerbaijani drone in the eastern Armenian city of Vardenis. There were no reports of casualties.

Azerbaijan earlier said two Azerbaijani civilians had been killed in Armenian shelling in Azerbaijan on Monday, following the deaths of five people from the same family a day earlier, BBC reported.

The UN Security Council meanwhile is expected to hold emergency talks on the issue Tuesday.

Both sides have mobilized more soldiers and Turkey on Monday was reportedly sending in Syrian rebel fighters to help Azerbaijan. 

In a statement on Tuesday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said: “I am deeply disturbed by the reported loss of civilian lives and injuries, as well as damage to civilian property and infrastructure.”

She also urged “an immediate end to the fighting”.

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14 killed, including five children, in Daikundi roadside explosion

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(Last Updated On: September 29, 2020)

At least 14 people were killed on Tuesday morning when the vehicle they were traveling in hit a roadside bomb. 

The explosion happened in Kariz village in Kajran District, the Ministry of Interior confirmed. 

The incident happened at about 9am. Seventeen civilians had been in the vehicle at the time of the explosion. 

Those killed include seven women, five children and two men, officials confirmed. Three others were wounded.

A sharp rise in violence has been detected around the country in the past two months, with a marked increase in the use of IEDs by the Taliban – which largely affects civilians as they are planted along public roads. 

Afghan security forces have however been detecting and defusing hundreds of these explosive devices around the country each week – putting their own lives at risk to do so.

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