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Kabul to host quadrilateral session:MoFA

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(Last Updated On: January 16, 2016)

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Officials in Ministry of Foreign affairs on Saturday said that Kabul city will host the second quadrilateral session, and Afghan officials will follow the steps according to road maps ,to determine date for beginning of negotiation, location, and discuss the main issues with Taliban.

Ministry of foreign affairs deputy spokesman Khairullah Azad said,” the second session agenda is to discuss road maps for peace talks,meaning how to open peace talks process negotiations and the final decision what to do next.”

Meanwhile a member of the committee who have joined the initial peace talks process held in Islamabad Ahmad Saiedi said,” the following process doesn’t ensure security for Afghanistan,Afghanistan do need to improve their military forces defending the country.

He believed that Afghanistan won’t reach peace and stability through Pakistan vision,saying Afghanistan should enter the negotiation process with full power unit.

Reported by Maroufa Zaki

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UN official warns al-Qaeda still ‘heavily embedded’ with Taliban 

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(Last Updated On: October 29, 2020)

A UN official has said despite the Taliban’s pledge in February to cut ties with al-Qaeda, the group is still “heavily embedded” within the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Speaking to the BBC, Edmund Fitton-Brown, co-ordinator of the UN’s Islamic State, al-Qaeda and Taliban Monitoring Team, said there has been regular communication between the two groups despite the US-Taliban agreement signed in Doha in February. 

“The Taliban were talking regularly and at a high level with al-Qaeda and reassuring them that they would honor their historic ties,” Fitton-Brown said.

According to him, the relationship between al-Qaeda and the Taliban was “not substantively” changed by the deal struck with the US. 

“Al-Qaeda are heavily embedded with the Taliban and they do a good deal of military action and training action with the Taliban, and that has not changed,” he said.

BBC reported that although al-Qaeda’s strength and ability to strike the West has significantly diminished over the past decade, its leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is believed to still be based in Afghanistan along with a number of other senior figures in the group. 

But, Fitton-Brown said despite its lower profile, al-Qaeda remained “resilient” and “dangerous”.

Fitton-Brown also told the BBC that he had noted recent reports about the Taliban requiring some Pakistani foreign fighters in Afghanistan to register with them and abide by a code of conduct forbidding attacks outside Afghanistan. 

He said it was not yet clear whether that agreement applied to al-Qaeda, nor whether it was an “irrevocable” move toward preventing foreign militants posing a threat internationally from Afghanistan.

BBC stated US officials have been vague when questioned as to whether or not they believe the Taliban is fully complying with its commitments on al-Qaeda, and instead have often suggested the information is classified. 

Ambassador Nathan Sales, co-ordinator for counterterrorism at the US state department, told the BBC: “We expect the Taliban to honor the commitments that they made… to end all connections with terrorist organizations in Afghanistan. We intend to continue monitoring the situation very closely to ensure actions are matching words.”

Speaking to the BBC, Rahmatullah Andar, a former Taliban commander and now spokesman for the Afghan government’s National Security Council warned of the threat of a resurgence from al-Qaeda and other global militant groups. “The Americans might think the agreement they have signed with the Taliban will sort everything out,” he said. “But time will prove that’s not the case.”

Fitton-Brown also warned that were the peace process, currently underway in Doha, fall apart, al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (Daesh) could attempt to further exploit “ungoverned space” in Afghanistan.

“Both of those groups have an avowed aspiration to pose an international threat,” he said.

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8 killed in Herat prison riot, officials confirm

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(Last Updated On: October 29, 2020)

At least eight prisoners were killed in a prison riot on Wednesday night in Herat Central Prison, local officials said Thursday.

Herat Public Health officials confirmed the deaths, and said 12 others including four prison guards were wounded.

However, the head of Herat ambulance services Ibrahim Mohammadi said early Thursday morning that one police soldier and one prisoner had died and 18 wounded had been taken to hospital.

Further details around the prison riot have not been provided but unconfirmed reports indicate a fight broke out while police were trying to close illegal shops inside the prison – which sparked an angry response from prisoners.

Reports also indicate a part of the prison had been set on fire.

The prison is situated in the heart of Herat city, and for residents in the close vicinity the situation had been a major concern as gunshots rang out through much of the night.

But reports indicate clashes lasted a few hours until the situation was eventually brought under control at about midnight.

Neither police nor prison officials have yet provided further details.

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Key Taliban fighter killed in Helmand operation

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(Last Updated On: October 28, 2020)

At least 38 Taliban militants, including the group’s shadow district governor for Nad Ali were killed in an operation by the Afghan forces in battle-weary Helmand province.

The provincial media office said in a statement on Wednesday night that Mullah Shawali, the Taliban’s shadow district governor for Nad Ali, was killed during a clearance operation on the Lashkargah-Nad Ali road.

The Defense Ministry (MoD), however, stated that Shawali was killed in an airstrike in the Nad Ali district of Helmand on Wednesday.

According to the ministry, Shawali was leading the clashes against the Afghan forces in Chah Anjir and Babaji area in the province.

Meanwhile, the Defense Ministry stated that the route was cleared of the Taliban.

The Taliban has not yet commented on the death of Shawali. 

The clearance operation was launched on Monday to push back the Taliban who had taken control of a number of areas in the past two weeks.

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