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MMA fighter ‘throws match’ after threatened in locker room 

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(Last Updated On: February 21, 2021)

Brazilian Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Leonardo Barbosa Paes Barreto has claimed that he threw his fight against Afghan fighter Ahmad Wali Hotak on February 11, after being threatened by a gunman in Kabul, the MMA Fighting reported. 

The match was held on February 11 at the Ghazi Stadium in Kabul. 

Hotak managed to knock out Barbosa in the second round of the fight.

But later, Barbosa said on Facebook that he was approached by an armed man in the locker room and threatened. 

The MMA Fighting reported that the Facebook post has been set as private after Barbosa received several messages from “aggressive” Afghan people calling him a “liar.”

Barbosa told MMA Fighting that a man entered his locker room that evening and “started screaming things” in his native language. 

Barbosa couldn’t understand a word he was saying. He did understand the message, however, when this man allegedly showed him he was carrying a gun. 

The Brazilian said he later spotted the man “in the VIP area during the fight, real close to the cage.”

“He kept screaming, extremely aggressive. He got closer to the cage in between rounds and started saying something similar to what he had said in the locker room, only more aggressive. I was winning the fight, I won the first round well, my opponent had a broken nose and needed surgery the next day, and I think I would have won, but I felt unable to do anything in that fight,” Barbosa said.

“And then that happened. I threw the fight,” he admits.

“I came back different for the second round, a series of things were going through my mind. I have a son, I have a family. Him killing me wasn’t my biggest fear because the repercussion would be huge, but I don’t know, people there are a bit complicated. It’s complicated, really. That region is still at war, there are terrorist attacks going on and people are kind of used to that now. A car exploded while I was there and they simply isolated the street, the army put a detour to another street and that’s it,” he stated.

Barbosa stated in a video message that Wali Hotak should not be blamed for what happened in the locker room.

“My opponent Hotak was not to blame for what happened, that fan was crazy,” Barbosa said.

He added: “I know the Afghan people do not agree on this type of attitude and that we will do the rematch and we are going to give the show that the TGFC event deserves and the public deserves,” he noted.

“I wait for the date of rematch,” Barbosa stated.

Hotak, however, denied Barbosa’s claims, calling it a “rumor.” He stated that he won the fight.

The TGFC officials also denied the report. However, they stated the rematch would be held in Dubai. 

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UN seeks record $41 billion for aid to hotspots including Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: December 2, 2021)

The United Nations appealed on Thursday for $41 billion to provide life-saving assistance next year to a record 183 million people worldwide caught up in conflict and poverty, led by a tripling of its programme in Afghanistan.

Famine remains a “terrifying prospect” for 45 million people living in 43 countries, as extreme weather caused by climate change reduces food supplies, it said in the annual appeal reflecting a 17% rise in annual funding needs.

“The drivers of needs are ones which are familiar to all of us. Tragically, it includes protracted conflicts, political instability, failing economies… the climate crisis, not a new crisis, but one which urges more attention and of course the Covid-19 pandemic,” UN aid chief Martin Griffiths told a news briefing on Wednesday.

In a report to donors, the world body said: “Without sustained and immediate action, 2022 could be catastrophic.”

Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Ethiopia and Sudan are the five major crises requiring the most funding, topped by $4.5 billion sought for Afghanistan where “needs are skyrocketing”, it said.

In Afghanistan, more than 24 million people require life-saving assistance to prevent catastrophe, a dramatic increase driven by political tumult, repeated economic shocks, and the severe food insecurity caused by the worst drought in 27 years, Reuters reported.

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Four wounded in Kabul blast

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(Last Updated On: December 2, 2021)

The Emergency Hospital in Kabul has confirmed four people were wounded in an IED explosion in Salim Karwan square in PD4 around midday Thursday.

The Emergency Hospital said in a tweet that the injured were taken to the hospital from the scene of the explosion.

The hospital said a child was among the injured adding the incident was caused by a magnetic IED attached to a vehicle.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) Interior Ministry spokesman Saeed Khosti, however, said the incident was caused by an IED placed in a pot. He also claimed that there were no casualties in the blast.

No individual or group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Two days ago, Kabul witnessed another explosion. The blast, which targeted an IEA vehicle, wounded five people, including members of the IEA.

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New NATO strategy being drawn up to deal with ‘changing world’

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(Last Updated On: December 2, 2021)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday that a new Strategic Concept was being drawn up for NATO in order to ensure the alliance is prepared for emerging threats in a changing world.

Speaking after the NATO defense minister’s meeting, Blinken said “three months after Operation Resolute Support in Afghanistan ended, the alliance remains focused on the fight against terrorism, including ISIS-K (Daesh).

He said while NATO military operations in Afghanistan had ended, “our work together continues”.

“For 20 years, NATO made sure that Afghanistan could not again become a safe haven for terrorists to threaten our countries and our people. That’s why we went there in the first place. No attacks on allies or partners originated in Afghanistan during that time, and together we decimated al-Qaida’s capacity to attack any of our countries or people from Afghanistan.

“Now, NATO remains fully committed to the fight against terrorism worldwide and will use all our capabilities to aid in that fight,” he said.

He said the new Strategic Concept for NATO will be worked on from now until the summit next year and is vitally important for modernizing the alliance.

He said this concept would help make sure NATO will be able to address challenges in the future, and foster unity among the Allies “as we navigate an increasingly complex and unpredictable security environment”.

“I think as you know, the current Strategic Concept, the one that we’re operating under now, dates to 2010, when Russia was considered a partner, China was not mentioned, and the alliance did not yet account for new challenges like cyber threats and the climate crisis,” he said.

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