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Ministry of Transport: Kazakh Company To Build Section of Khaf-Heart Railway

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(Last Updated On: December 14, 2019)

President Ghani attended the contract signing ceremony implementing the construction of the fourth section of the Khaf-Herat Railway.

“The fourth part is 43 km long and will be completed in 16 months. This project will cost more than 58.5 million dollars,” said Yama Yari the Administrator of the Ministry of Transport.

Yari added that this railway has four sections. Two of the sections are located in Iran and two sections are based in Afghanistan.

The Italian government is underwriting the cost of the railway project.

The Kazakh Ambassador, Halim Khan Yasin Galdino, stated that the Kazakh Company entrusted with the construction of the Afghan portions of the railway, is one of the biggest railway companies in Kazakhstan and the region. “I promise that this company will finish the work on time,” said the Ambassador.

Officials from the Ministry of Transport said that when the railway project is completed, the railway would transport more than 6.5 million tons of goods. This economic activity will provide an estimated sixty-four million dollars of additional revenue to the Afghan Government.

The Khaf-Herat Railway is the biggest joint project of Afghanistan and Iran.

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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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