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Political leaders condemn attack against Fawzia Koofi



(Last Updated On: August 15, 2020)

Afghan leaders and foreign allies Saturday condemned the attack on peace negotiator and political activist Fawzia Koofi and wished her a speedy recovery. 

Koofi, who is one of the Afghan national negotiating team members, came under fire by unknown gunmen on Friday afternoon while traveling on the Kabul-Parwan highway. 

According to Tariq Arian, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, gunmen opened fire on Koofi and her sister when they were returning from a meeting in Parwan. 

He said the attack took place when the two women got out of their car to purchase something on the side of the road. 

Arian said Koofi had been shot in her right hand but that she was in a stable condition.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Afghans took to social media on Saturday after the news broke and also condemned the attack. 

Koofi herself posted on her Facebook page Friday night and said she “survived an assassination attempt today afternoon outside Kabul city and got injured in the right arm. Thankfully not a life threatening injury!” 

President Ashraf Ghani stated in response to the incident that “cowardly attacks on Afghan women would not hinder their purposeful efforts to preserve Afghanistan’s 19-year-old values.”

He wished Koofi, “a leader of the wave of political transformation” a speedy recovery.

Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah also condemned the attack and called for an immediate investigation into the incident. 

“I strongly condemn the assassination attempt on Ms Fawzia Koofi and call upon the government to identify and apprehend the culprits and possible motive for the attack.” 

Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai also denounced the attempted assassination against Koofi and called it a “terrorist act.”

Karzai said the attack was a clear and unequivocal act against the peace process and expressed his concern about the efforts and plots of the enemies of peace.

He also called on the people of Afghanistan to take a stand against any such plans so as to ensure negotiations would not be derailed. 

Stefano Pontecorvo the NATO Senior Civilian Representative to Afghanistan also voiced his dismay and said the “attack on Fawzia Koofi is yet another despicable attempt at silencing voices of those who advocate for peace and equal opportunities.”

He said: “The perpetrators must be brought to justice,” and that NATO would continue to support the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces in the fight against terrorism.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

The incident comes just days before Koofi and the rest of the Afghan national negotiating team are expected to leave for Doha to start peace talks with the Taliban.


Kazakhs told to leave streets to avoid ‘anti-terrorist actions’



(Last Updated On: January 8, 2022)

A statement broadcast on Kazakh TV on Friday told Almaty residents to stay inside during the security operation in the city.

Video obtained by Reuters showed the broadcast statement, which said: “Respectable Inhabitants of Almaty! A counter-terrorist operation to destroy bandit groups is going on in Almaty. The main goal is to stop terrorists and safeguard the security of the city. If anti-terrorist activity takes place where you live, it is recommended you do not go near by windows or get out in the street. Hide in a safe place, do not leave children or the elderly without supervision.”

Almaty, Kazakhstan’s main city, has seen days of violence, with demonstrations that began as a response to a fuel price hike swelling into a broad movement against the government and ex-leader Nursultan Nazarbayev, 81, the longest-serving ruler of any former Soviet state.

Security forces appeared to have reclaimed the streets of Kazakhstan’s main city on Friday after days of violence, and the Russian-backed president said he had ordered his troops to shoot to kill to put down a countrywide uprising.

A day after Moscow sent paratroopers to help crush the insurrection, police were patrolling the debris-strewn streets of Almaty, although some gunfire could still be heard, Reuters reported.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said foreign-trained terrorists were responsible for the unrest, and the interior ministry said 26 “armed criminals” had been “liquidated”, while 18 police and members of the national guard had been killed, figures that appeared not to have been updated since Thursday. State television reported more than 3,700 arrests.


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Japan pledges $109 million to Afghanistan and its neighbors to ‘address crisis’



(Last Updated On: December 21, 2021)

The Japanese government has pledged to donate a total of approximately $109 million to Afghanistan and its neighboring countries “to address the humanitarian crisis” in the country.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said that Japan will provide assistance to directly address humanitarian needs in Afghanistan and its neighboring countries including Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

“The Government of Japan will provide assistance to directly address humanitarian needs in areas such as healthcare, food, and nutrition, protection, water, and sanitation, as well as livelihood improvement to Afghanistan and its neighboring countries,” the statement read.

According to the statement the assistance would be provided through 16 international organizations to improve the humanitarian crisis.

“The Government of Japan will continue to provide support and stand with the people of Afghanistan, and play an active role to realize stability in the region,” the statement added.

According to the statement, $100 million will be allocated for Afghanistan; $4.01 million to Iran; $3.72 million to Pakistan; $0.99 million to Tajikistan; and $0.43 million to Uzbekistan.

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Unvaccinated COVID patients flood French ICUs as cases surge



(Last Updated On: December 18, 2021)

Pressure on French hospitals has been steadily mounting over the past few weeks as France battles a fifth wave of COVID-19 infections, which has been filling up ICUs with unvaccinated patients.

Of the 20 COVID patients of the Mulhouse hospital ICU, only three are vaccinated while the youngest is aged 19 years old, head of the Emile Muller hospital ICU, doctor Khaldoun Kuteifan, told Reuters on Thursday.

“The Mulhouse hospital ICU is currently at full capacity as patients have been coming in for the past 20 days. Seventy percent of the ICU patients are positive COVID cases.”

France had recorded 60,866 new cases over the past 24 hours on Thursday night, while 78.1% of French people have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, according to the French Health Ministry website.

“The waves keep coming and hitting us, and the more it goes on, the more tired we get,” nurse Aurelie Multhaupt told Reuters.

French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday that the government expects to see around 4,000 patients in intensive care with COVID-19 by the Christmas holidays, Reuters reported.

Attal said new decisions on the reinforcement of border rules, the acceleration of the vaccination campaign and travel recommendations for the holidays could be announced in the coming days.

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