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One killed, three wounded in Kabul airport shooting: Reports

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(Last Updated On: August 23, 2021)

German forces reported an exchange of fire with unidentified gunmen on the north side of Kabul airport on Monday, leaving one Afghan security force member dead and three others injured. .

CNN reported clashes reportedly began between Afghan forces and unknown individuals and led to the intervention by German and American forces.

Sources told Ariana News that Taliban officials at Kabul airport have entered into talks with US forces to resolve the challenges faced in the past week.

Reports indicate that a sniper reportedly opened fire on Afghan guards inside the facility, and the Afghan security forces responded with fire. However reports state that when the US forces opened fire, one Afghan soldier was killed and three others were wounded.

The Taliban has meanwhile appealed to the public not to gather outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport.

“Although people have problems, we ask them to please leave the place and let those who have documents travel. We advised the Mujahidin to treat the people well,” said Mawolavi Fateh, a Taliban commander at Kabul airport.

Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority has also said that all civilian flights have been suspended until further notice. The authority has also asked the public not to go to the airport.

“We ask people to please stop the chaos. Only those who have a document or visa in hand can travel, there is no civilian flight at the moment,” said Sibghatullah Kakar, a Civil Aviation Authority employee.

Despite multiple calls from the Taliban and organizations for people without documents or visas to stay away from the airport, hundreds continue to flock there daily in the hope of getting on an evacuation flight.

“I have NATO documents, I worked with Spanish forces, I also have documents, but I cannot travel due to overcrowding,” said Ali Jan, a resident of Parwan.

“There is no way of entering the airport, everyone coming here says they are going to America; these people don’t have documents,” said Assadullah, a resident of Kabul.

This comes after US President Joe Biden said late Sunday that Washington has an unwavering commitment to getting American citizens and at-risk Afghans out of Afghanistan.

Biden said the security situation in Afghanistan was changing rapidly and his administration was concerned about the threat from Islamic State (Daesh) in Afghanistan.

Haji Mohammad Idris has meanwhile been appointed as acting director of the Central Bank in a bid to resolve the issue of banks being closed, said Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.

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New EU relief flight delivers life-saving medical aid

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(Last Updated On: October 22, 2021)

Another EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flight has delivered over 28 tonnes of life-saving medical cargo to Kabul to address the dire humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

The EU-funded air bridge flight enables the World Health Organization, as well as humanitarian organisations such as ‘Emergency’ and ‘Première Urgence Internationale’ to deliver critical health items to those in need.

On the occasion, Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management, said: ”This is the third EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flight since the fall of Kabul in August this year. This EU-funded flight represents an important lifeline to Afghans in urgent need of medical care.

“However, the overall humanitarian situation is rapidly worsening. In this view and the approaching winter, I urge the entire international community to step up and provide for life-saving aid to millions of Afghans whose lives depend on it,” he said.

The life-saving cargo consists of medical equipment to conduct surgeries and medical drugs.

On top of this third EU-funded flight to Kabul this week, further flights are scheduled for the coming weeks as an expression of EU solidarity with the people of Afghanistan.

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Russia mulling excluding IEA from list of extremist groups: Putin

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(Last Updated On: October 22, 2021)

Russia is moving towards excluding the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) from its list of extremist organisations, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, a day after high-level talks between Moscow and Afghanistan’s new rulers.

Russia labelled the IEA a “terrorist organisation” in 2003 but welcomed the IEA for talks in Moscow several times before it seized power in Afghanistan in August.

Earlier this week, Russia called for the mobilisation of international aid to support Afghanistan, as Moscow hosted the IEA for an international conference.

“We all expect Taliban (IEA), those people who undoubtedly control the situation in the country, in Afghanistan, we expect the situation to develop positively. Depending on that we will jointly take the decision on excluding them (IEA) from the list of terrorist organisations. It seems to me that we are getting close to it. Russia’s position will be to move in that direction.”

Putin also raised the question as to how the IEA will generate funds if assets remain frozen and Afghanistan is isolated economically. He implied that unless the new government is recognized internationally, money could be generated through the continued production of opium and heroin.

“The important problem is the drugs. 90 percent of opiates on the global market are coming from Afghanistan, as is well known. If they (IEA) won’t have money how will they fund the social issues?”

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Afghanistan one of 11 “highly vulnerable” countries regarding climate change

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(Last Updated On: October 22, 2021)

Afghanistan, India and Pakistan were among 11 countries singled out by U.S. intelligence agencies on Thursday as being “highly vulnerable” in terms of their ability to prepare for and respond to environmental and societal crises caused by climate change.

In a new National Intelligence Estimate, the Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) predicts that global warming will increase geopolitical tensions and risks to U.S. national security in the period up to 2040.

Such estimates are broad U.S. intelligence community assessments. Thursday’s report identifies as particular “countries of concern” Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Iraq, North Korea, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and Colombia. ODNI posted a declassified version online.

Heat, drought, water availability and ineffective government make Afghanistan specifically worrying. Water disputes are also a key geopolitical flashpoint in India and the rest of South Asia, Reuters reported.

The report identifies two additional regions of concern to U.S. intelligence agencies. Climate change is “likely to increase the risk of instability in countries in Central Africa and small island states in the Pacific, which clustered together form two of the most vulnerable areas in the world.”

The report notes disparities around global approaches to tackling climate change, saying countries that rely on fossil fuel exports to support their economies “will continue to resist a quick transition to a zero-carbon world because they fear the economic, political, and geopolitical costs of doing so.”

The report also notes the likelihood of increasing strategic competition over the Arctic. It says that Arctic and non-Arctic states “almost certainly will increase their competitive activities as the region becomes more accessible because of warming temperatures and reduced ice.”

It predicts international competition in the Arctic “will be largely economic but the risk of miscalculation will increase modestly by 2040 as commercial and military activity grows and opportunities are more contested.”

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