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Saleh thanks Afghans, international community for their support following attack

Ariana News

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(Last Updated On: September 10, 2020)

Following the failed assassination attempt on his life, Afghanistan’s First Vice President Amrullah Saleh on Thursday thanked his fellow countrymen, the international community, and the security forces for their support and solidarity. 

In a message posted to Twitter early Thursday, Saleh said: “My fellow Afghns, thnks 4 your support & solidarity. Our foreign friends, thnks for standing on the right side of history.”

To the families of the victims who lost their lives in the deadly roadside bombing in Kabul that targeted his convoy, he said: “Grieving families, I owe you all something that can’t be explained by words. I will visit all of you.”

He also thanked the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces and said he “salutes” them for “standing tall and proud”. 

Saleh escaped the explosion with only minor injuries but at least 10 people, mostly civilians, were killed in the explosion and dozens wounded. 

Soon after the attack, Saleh issued a video recording on social media and said: “Me and my younger son, who was also with me, are fine.”

“I have slight burns on my face and hand from the wave of the blast. I don’t have exact details right now, but I apologize to those who suffered casualties and those who lost their property in the attack.”

The attack happened in Taimani, in the heart of Kabul, where many small shops sell gas bottles. 

As a result of the explosion, a number of shops caught fire as gas bottles exploded – causing even further damage to houses and businesses in the area. 

After the attack, President Ashraf Ghani met with Saleh and said that the “terrorists and their foreign backers cannot undermine the people’s strong faith in peace, democracy, and the bright future of our country.”

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed said the explosion “had nothing to do” with the Taliban. 

Saleh, who served as the country’s former intelligence chief, is staunchly patriotic and a vocal critic of the Taliban. He has also survived several attempts on his life. 

But this latest attempt came just one day after Al Arabiya broadcast an interview with the vice president who said in his opinion the Taliban was a deviated group in the context of the country’s history. 

He also said in respect of hoped-for peace talks that the Taliban lacks a manifest and all they know “is a gun in their hand looking at your forehead. The moment they put down that gun, what other skill do they have to be used in society?”

However, late Wednesday, Afghanistan’s acting minister of interior, Massoud Andarabi, said preliminary test results indicate the type of explosive material used in the IED against Saleh’s convoy was commonly used by Haqqani Network. 

Andarabi said reports indicate RDX-HMX + Nitroglycerin was used. 

He said the nature of the material and the attack are similar to other attacks that Haqqani Network has claimed responsibility for in the past.

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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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