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New Balkh Police Chief Takes Charge Despite Noor’s Opposition

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(Last Updated On: March 14, 2019)

General Abdul Raqib Mubariz took office as the new police chief of the northern Balkh province on Thursday despite strong opposition by former provincial governor Atta Mohammad Noor.

 Mubariz was surrounded by commando forces who were deployed to have the situation under control after armed forces loyal to former Balkh governor Noor resisting the appointment of new police chief for the northern province.

 After taking office, Mubariz said he was appointed to the post based on a presidential decree and that anyone who will take a hostile approach towards the system and government will face the response.

He said the security situation in Balkh is normal.

Hours before the gunfire and widespread shooting in Mazar-e-City against new Balkh police chief, Noor had called upon on all residents of the city to stay indoor and close their shops and markets “until further notice”.

He said the Presidential Palace has been “hatching plots” against them.

Earlier, Khoshal Sadat, senior deputy interior minister for security affairs in a Twitter post said that considering the “worsening security situation” in Balkh province, the president has appointed Abdul Raqib Mubariz as new provincial police chief.

“Unfortunately his predecessor Akram Sami is not willing to leave his post & accept the new appointment,” he said.

Reactions to Balkh Tensions

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass reacted to the violence in Balkh which began early in the day over the appointment of new provincial police chief.

Expressing “great” concerns over the tensions in Balkh, UNAMA called on all parties to “deescalate” tensions “immediately” and find a non-violent solution to the issue and “prioritize the safety and security of the city’s residents.”

U.S. envoy Bass, meanwhile, in a series of tweets said: “Green on green violence is unacceptable. The only ones who benefit from this violence are the Taliban.”

“The United States calls for calm in Mazar, Balkh, and surrounding areas. Afghan security forces are tasked with protecting the Afghan people, not fighting each other over political disputes, ” he tweeted.

Bass also called on all involved parties to “quickly and peacefully resolve this dispute in a way that gives Afghan citizens confidence in their leadership and strengthens security. Asserting authority by force of arms takes Afghanistan’s democracy backwards.”

“We call on leaders to tell military and police forces to stand down, and for political leaders on both sides of this dispute to put the Afghan people first,” he added.

Business

Da Afghanistan Bank sees increase in gross reserves

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(Last Updated On: June 1, 2020)

The gross domestic product (GDP) of the central bank of Afghanistan, Da Afghanistan Bank, has reached more than $9 billion for the first time.

Officials at the bank said that although the global aid to Afghanistan has declined, they have succeeded to increase the bank’s reserves.

Economists also underline that the central bank’s efforts will lure global funds.

The bank’s authority has stated that they have, for the first time, been able to increase the GDP to over $9 billion.

According to them, last year about AFN22 billion was deposited in the government reserves through investments in foreign financial institutions.

Although the Coronavirus pandemic has devalued Afghan currency against the dollar, the authority is pushing for effective programs to keep the value of the currency afloat, they said.

Welcoming the strengthening of the gross reserves of DAB, experts say that the central bank’s efforts would attract global funds for good.

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COVID-19

Concerns over Coronavirus rapid outbreak in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: May 31, 2020)

The COVID19 outbreak status in Afghanistan has turned disastrous, as there are few health measures in hand.

The Ministry of Public Health says 680 new cases of the Coronavirus have been tested positive in the last 24 hours hiking the count of the infected to 15,205 in Afghanistan.

The ministry underlines that there are no sufficient gears to reach out to all patients and that any negligence will have dire consequences for the nation.

“Some 1,112 samples have been examined in the past 24 hours, of which 680 have tested positive, with eight deaths,” said Wahidullah Majrooh, deputy of the MOPH.

He added: “Unfortunately, Coronavirus scope has widened and the tragedy is imminent, and our only hope is the cooperation of the people. If they cooperate, we can control the situation.”

“The consumption of oxygen alone is very high overnight, while there is so little of the product.”

Nonetheless, the health ministry reiterates that health workers are ready to provide services to the people in any situation and to fight against the pandemic with whatever is available.

In the meantime, the Herat department of hajj and religious affairs has warned the imams in the province to strictly follow and pass on health guidelines instructions while leading the prayers, or else, they will be dismissed of their duties.

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COVID-19

Al-Aqsa Mosque reopens to worshippers – Jerusalem

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(Last Updated On: May 31, 2020)

After over two months of lockdown for the Coronavirus, Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound has been reopened, international news agencies.

The Council of Islamic Waqf, which oversees Muslim sites on the complex, said the restriction was lifted after the virus’ spread slowed down locally.

The council also imposed some precautionary measures to reduce the risk of contagion at Islam’s third-holiest site.

That is, worshippers must wear face masks and bring personal prayer rugs should they wish to pray in the mosque or on the grounds.

It worth mentioning that the Al-Aqsa Mosque which is located in the Old City of Jerusalem, is the third holiest site in Islam.

The mosque was built on top of the Temple Mount, known as the Al Aqsa Compound or Haram-e-Sharif in Islam.

Celebrating the reopening, dozens of Muslims gathered in front of the large wooden doors, pronouncing, “God is greatest, we will protect Al-Aqsa with our soul and blood.”

Reportedly, the resumption of prayers capped a somber period for Jerusalem’s Muslims, who this year marked the fasting month of Ramadan and the Eid al-Fitr holiday without their usual daily visits to Al-Aqsa Mosque.

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