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Infighting Leaves 45 Taliban Militants Killed or Wounded in Herat

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(Last Updated On: November 30, 2018)

Infighting between factions has killed or wounded 45 Taliban fighters in the western province of Herat, government officials said Friday.

Jilani Farhad, the provincial governor’s Spokesman said that the several hours of armed clashes between the rival Taliban groups have taken place in Shendand district of the province, leaving at least 28 killed and 17 more wounded to both sides.

The official added that most of the casualties occurred to the Taliban faction led by Mullah Heibatullah, suffering 18 dead and seven wounded in the incident.

According to Farhad, during the counter-insurgency operations of the Afghan security forces, an official of the provincial Directorate of National Security (NDS) has also been killed in Herat province.

The Taliban did not comment regarding the report yet.

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Atmar addresses concerns of Afghans in Tajikistan

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(Last Updated On: September 19, 2020)

On a two-day official visit to Dushanbe, Tajikistan, acting foreign affairs minister Haneef Atmar met with a number of Afghan refugees, students and business owners at the Afghan Embassy on Friday evening where he discussed challenges they are facing. 

In a statement issued by foreign affairs on Saturday, the ministry said Atmar assured students and business owners that problems they have been dealing with – specifically due to COVID-19 – would be addressed as soon as possible. 

Easy border crossings for bilateral trade was also addressed and the embassy was instructed to assist refugees with problems they are facing, the statement read. 

Addressing Afghan students that attended the meeting, Atmar said it was important for them to return to their home country once they had completed their studies so as to help with the development of Afghanistan.

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Lebanon’s army finds 1.3 tons of fireworks near Beirut explosion site

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(Last Updated On: September 19, 2020)

Lebanon’s army said it had found 1.3 tons of fireworks during a search of Beirut port, which was devastated last month in a massive explosion blamed on highly explosive ammonium nitrate, kept in poor condition.

The army said in a statement that 1,320 kgs of fireworks were found in 120 boxes in a warehouse during a search of the port. It said army engineers disposed of them.

The port and a large part of central Beirut was ruined by the huge blast that killed at least 190 people and left tens of thousands homeless. 

Warehouses and concrete grain silos at the port were also destroyed.

“As part of the inspection works that army units are carrying out at Beirut port, 1,320 kilograms of fireworks were found packed in 120 cartons at one of the hangars,” the army statement said.

“Troops from the Engineering Regiment immediately removed them and disposed of them at fields belonging to the army,” the statement added.

According to Lebanese media reports, an FBI team has reportedly deduced that a fireworks cache was behind the August 4 detonation of the ammonium nitrate that had been stored at the port. 

Other flammable substances had also reportedly been placed in the same storage facility. 

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UK to allow more interpreters to start new lives in Britain

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(Last Updated On: September 19, 2020)

The UK government on Saturday announced an expanded relocation scheme for former Afghan interpreters who supported British Armed forces in Helmand province. 

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and Home Secretary Priti Patel announced the changes will significantly expand the eligibility criteria for former interpreters to apply for the relocation offer.

Until now, former employees must have been made redundant on or after 1 May 2006 with 12 months or more service outside the wire on the frontline.

Saturday’s announcement will allow an additional group of interpreters – those who resigned on or after 1 May 2006 after serving a minimum of 18 months on the frontline – to apply for relocation.

Their spouses and children will also benefit from the expanded scheme.

“Courageous Afghans worked side by side with our Armed Forces to defeat terrorism, risking their own lives in the pursuit of peace,” said Patel. 

“In recognition of their dedication, today we are fulfilling our promise and have expanded the relocation scheme so that more brave Afghans and their families can come and build a new life in the UK,” she said.

Wallace in turn stated: “Our efforts in Afghanistan simply could not have been possible without the help of brave interpreters who risked their lives to work alongside our personnel throughout the conflict.

“They did not leave us behind then, and we will not leave them behind now. It is crucial there is a fair system in place to support those who want to relocate to the UK, and that is why we are going even further to make sure more individuals have the opportunity to apply for relocation.

“The Home Office and Defense will always work together to address policy issues and promote British values,” he said. 

The changes to the scheme will be made through secondary legislation in October and be implemented shortly afterwards, the UK noted in a statement.

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