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Khalid Praises Afghan Forces for Breaking Taliban Prison

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(Last Updated On: April 29, 2019)

The Afghan Minister of Defense Asadullah Khalid on Saturday said Afghan forces will achieve a dignified peace by fighting at the battlefields.

Speaking at a ceremony in a military base, Khalid said Afghan forces want a peace that preserves the gains of the past 18 years and will support any efforts for peace.

“There is nothing to worry about rumors like the elimination of our army or peace in a way that [Taliban] describe. We want a dignified peace for you soldiers that you strive for your country every day and night,” Khalid said while speaking to a group of captives released from a Taliban prison in the south of Afghanistan.

Minister Khalid further called on Afghan politicians to stop interfering in military affairs, adding that the Afghan forces are game-changers now.

“Taliban announced their operation under the name of Al-Fath. They are misusing from peace meetings. They also broadcasting propaganda such as laser weapons, night vision goggles and many more while there is nothing,” he added.

At the same event, Khanullah Shuja a senior commander of the Afghan army said that special forces have released 53 captives including 8 civilians from a Taliban prison in Dai Chupan district of Zabul province.

According to the official, the released captives included four commandos, four policemen, four local policemen, 32 soldiers, a soldier from the National Directorate of Security, and eight civilians.

“I was in Taliban’s prison for 11 months. I haven’t seen my father, bother or my home. I’m very happy that I’m going back home,” said Janan, a resident of Shahwali Kot district of Kandahar province who was released by government forces from a Taliban prison in Zabul.

“Taliban were not behaving well with us. They were physically beating us every night,” said Hussamuddin, an army soldier.

Military officials praised the support of the Resolute Support Mission (RSM) in rescuing the inmates.

By Hesamuddin Hesam

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Four policemen killed in Farah motorbike bomb blast

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(Last Updated On: August 12, 2020)

At least four policemen were killed and 22 others wounded in a blast in southwestern Farah province. 

The incident took place in PD^4 in the provincial capital Farah city at around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement that the blast occurred after an explosive-laden motorbike hit a police vehicle in the city.

Mohibullah Mohib, a spokesman for Farah police told Ariana news that civilians were also among the casualties.

Immediately no group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack. 

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Taliban warns of ‘planned attack’ by Daesh militants against freed prisoners

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(Last Updated On: August 12, 2020)

Taliban on Wednesday warned the Afghan government of a possible Daesh attack against the group’s 400 remaining prisoners.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, said in a statement that “based on accurate intelligence reports and documents, the Islamic Emirate (Taliban) warns that there exists a grave security threat against the safety of the remaining prisoners to be released from Pul-e-Charkhi prison.”

According to Mujahid, Daesh plans to carry out a coordinated attack against the Taliban prisoners once they are freed from the Kabul prison.

“A group of Daesh gunmen in coordination and cooperation with Kabul administration intelligence, some military personnel, and prison check post commanders plan to conduct an attack against vehicles that are to transfer the remaining released prisoners,” Mujahid added.

However, sources in the National Directorate of Security (NDS) have rejected the Taliban’s “baseless” claims, saying that they are committed to providing the security of the Taliban prisoners.

He claimed that Daesh aims to disrupt the negotiations process and “exact revenge on the prisoners.”

The group urged the Afghan government to take “preventative measures” and accomplish the prisoner transfer process with “utmost care and safety.”

“If God forbid, anything unfortunate were to happen then all those sides will be held responsible who have shown negligence in this regard,” the statement concluded.

This comes just days after President Ashraf Ghani signed the release order of the 400 controversial Taliban inmates.

The decision was made after Ghani called for a Loya Jirga, or grand council, which voted in favor of the militants’ release following two days of consultations.

So far none of these prisoners have been released.

The National Security Council, which is tasked with the job of arranging the release process, has not yet provided details about when the prisoners will be freed.

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Concerns raised around peace talks after journalists have Qatar visas rejected

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(Last Updated On: August 12, 2020)

The Afghan media on Wednesday voiced concern over the upcoming intra-Afghan peace talks in Doha after Qatar visas for local journalists were not approved.

Members of the public also objected to the move saying talks should not be held behind closed doors and that the people of Afghanistan have the right to be kept up-to-date on the details of negotiations.

A group of local journalists was expected to travel with the official Afghan negotiating team to Qatar this week for the start of the intra-Afghan negotiations on Sunday.

However, the government has not yet commented on the visa issue.

A member of the Access to Information Commission meanwhile said that this was a serious concern.

“The presence of journalists should be a condition for negotiations so that they bring any decisions made about the fate of the people to light,” he said.

Initially reports indicated the Afghan talks team, led by Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, would leave Kabul, along with the group of journalists, on Wednesday.

However, the negotiating team will now only leave Thursday.

The Afghan negotiating team met with President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday to discuss issues around the upcoming peace talks with the Taliban.

Stanekzai briefed Ghani following the Loya Jirga’s decision on Sunday in favor of releasing the final 400 Taliban prisoners – which had been a stumbling block in the way of kick-starting negotiations.

Stanekzai stated Tuesday they will sit around the negotiating table with the Taliban as a united team in favor of “the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan” and they will consider the interests of the people.

Meanwhile, Ghani said the Loya Jirga had drawn a peace roadmap for government, and that they are “committed to the implementation of that.”

“We are committed to peace, the goal is to end the war in a fundamental way,” Ghani added.

He said the peace talks team will negotiate a suitable and fair peace deal with the Taliban as it is in the best interests of the people.

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