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Peace efforts; Ambassador Khalilzad meets President Ghani

Ariana News

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(Last Updated On: June 10, 2020)

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani met with the US Special Representative for Peace in Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad, this afternoon.

Reportedly, in the meeting, they discussed some practical actions in the Afghan peace process.

The presidential palace said in a statement that the meeting focused on practical measures before the start of the Intra-Afghan negotiations, reduction in violence, and the commitment of the international community and neighboring countries to peace.

According to the statement, the president has emphasized that the basic demand of the Afghan people is peace and that the government has made it its priority.

It is noteworthy that Khalilzad has lately started his new round of efforts towards the starting of the intra-Afghan negotiations – he has just returned from his trip to Qatar and Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani Chief of Army Staff, after meeting with Zalmay Khalilzad, has also met with the president and chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation.

In a statement, the Pakistani army has said that Qamar Bajwa’s talks with the Afghan leaders were focused on the necessary steps forward to facilitate the Intra-Afghan talks.

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Death toll from Kabul suicide bombing climbs to 24

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Reuters
(Last Updated On: October 25, 2020)

The death toll from Saturday’s suicide bombing outside the Kawsar-e-Danish educational center in Dasht-e-Barchi of Kabul city has risen to 24, and around 60 others wounded, officials confirmed on Sunday.

Eyewitnesses told Ariana News that Saturday’s suicide bomber detonated his explosives in the middle of the narrow street after he was identified as being an insurgent by the center’s security guards.

According to eyewitnesses, all the victims were teenagers who had been taking extra lessons for the university entrance exam (Kankor exam). 

Akram Azizi, a student at Kawsar-e-Danish, who is from Malistan district of Ghazni province, left home two months ago to start the process of writing his Kankor exam. According to him the suicide bombing took place at the front door of a hostel where he is living.

He said: “Unfortunately, one of my classmates Rohullah Rahimi was martyred. I was at his funeral last night.”

ISIS-K, or Daesh as it is commonly known in Afghanistan, claimed responsibility for the attack. 

This is not the first attack against students in the same area. In August 2018, a Daesh suicide bomber detonated his explosives at another private education center, which left at least 48 killed and close to 100 wounded.

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Khabib retires from MMA with an undefeated record of 29-0

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(Last Updated On: October 25, 2020)

MMA champion Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement on Saturday night after defeating his rival Justin Gaethje in a second-round submission win in Abu Dhabi. 

Reuters reported that the Russian’s many fans had questioned if he would have the heart for the fight against Gaethje following the death of his father Abdulmanap in July from complications caused by COVID-19.

But, following his win, he left his gloves in the octagon, fulfilling a promise to his mother. 

“I talked to my mother three days (ago). She didn’t want me to go fight without (my) father, but I promised her it’s going to be my last fight, and if I give my word, I have to follow this,” an emotional Khabib said.

His father had tutored him in combat sports from an early age and was in his corner in Abu Dhabi in September 2019 when Khabib choked out Dustin Poirier, on that occasion using a rear-naked choke in another successful title defense, Reuters reported.

“It was my last fight. I know only one thing I want from the UFC – you guys have to put me number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world because I deserve this,” Khabib said.

The 32-year-old notched up 13 wins in eight years and a professional record featuring eight knockouts and 11 submission wins.

He competed in the lightweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, where he was the UFC Lightweight Champion from April 2018 until his retirement.

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NDS claims to have killed key al-Qaeda leader in Ghazni province 

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(Last Updated On: October 25, 2020)

Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) said its special forces killed a key al-Qaeda member in an operation in Ghazni province. 

In a post on Twitter, the NDS said: “As a result of NDS special force unit operation in Ghazni province an al-Qaeda key member for Indian sub-continent, Abu Muhsen al-Masri was killed.”

Al-Masri, an Egyptian national was believed to be the “second-in-command” in al-Qaeda and had been on the US’s Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Most Wanted Terrorist list.

He was charged in the US with conspiring to kill US nationals and providing resources to a foreign terrorist organization.

Rahmatullah Nabil, the former director of the NDS, said Sunday that al-Masri and some other members of al-Qaeda had frequently traveled between Shawwal Valley and Ghazni over the past few weeks.

He suggested that it could be related to a possible al-Qaeda attack.

According to him, key members of al-Qaeda had also been traveling to Zabul, Logar, and Paktika provinces. 

He said the al-Qaeda members had been holding “secret meetings with unknown people” in Shawwal Valley and stated if the Taliban are sincere about the peace process they should “prevent this attack”. 

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