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SIGAR: Increase of violence impacts US-Taliban peace deal

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(Last Updated On: November 6, 2020)

US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), quoted Pentagon, saying an increase in violence by the Taliban is not acceptable and will impact the US-Taliban peace deal.

US officials said that increase in violence means a violation of the Doha deal.

The SIGAR new report reveals that the Afghan government seeks a lasting ceasefire, however, the militants want to impose their own circumstances.

“The Taliban is calibrating its use of violence to harass and undermine [the Afghan government and security forces], but remain at a level it perceives is within the bounds of the [U.S.-Taliban] agreement,” said SIGAR.

SIGAR also said that Taliban attacks have been increased by 50 percent in the past three months of 2020.

Previously the Afghan National Security Council (ONSC) has said that the Taliban has conducted an average of 55 attacks per day since the signing of the peace deal with the United States in Doha.

The council said that the Taliban conducted 2,804 attacks from the beginning of March to April 19, adding the group “does not remain committed to the reconciliation process that will help the country to end decades of war.”

“When a deal does not have a guarantee, then both sides criticizing each other. It means that the Doha deal is not guaranteed,” said Jawed Kohistani, a military analyst.

The SIGAR also said that anti-government groups are responsible for 83 percent of civilians’ casualties and the report attributed 38 percent of civilians’ casualties to the Taliban.

The United Nation in Afghanistan also attributed most of the civilians’ casualties to the anti-government groups.

“If the Taliban and government not announce a ceasefire and continue the violence, it means that they don’t have any respect for the Afghans’ blood.” Said Zabihullah Farhang, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission.

On the other hand, NATO said that they will increase their airstrikes in Afghanistan.

Lt.Gen. John Deedrick, the commander of Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (CSTC-A) on Friday said that the Taliban violence is too high and that support for the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) will continue.

“The Taliban violence is too high and we are continuing to support the Afghan security forces and the government, and we will defend the Afghan security forces in accordance with the agreement,” said Lt. Gen. Deedrick. “We do conduct strikes and operations in accordance with the US-Taliban agreement, and we will continue to do so.”

This comes as the US continues to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan

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97 people wounded after train derails in Egypt

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(Last Updated On: April 18, 2021)

Ninety-seven people were injured on Sunday (April 18) when four train carriages derailed in Egypt’s Qalioubia province north of Cairo, the health ministry said in a statement.

Two security sources and local media reported that several people had been killed in the accident, but there was no official confirmation.

Officials did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

The train was heading from Cairo to the Nile Delta city of Mansoura and derailed at 13.54 local time (11:54 GMT), about 40 kilometres north of Cairo, Egyptian National Railways said in a short statement.

The cause of the accident is being investigated, it added.

More than 50 ambulances took the injured to three hospitals in the province, the health ministry said.

The derailing is the latest of several recent railway crashes in Egypt. At least 20 people were killed and nearly 200 were injured in March when two trains collided near Tahta, about 440 km (275 miles) south of Cairo.

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Eight family members killed during Tarawih prayers in Nangarhar

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(Last Updated On: April 18, 2021)

Eight members of a family were killed by unknown armed men during Tarawih prayers in eastern Nangarhar province, sources said Sunday.

According to the sources, the incident took place inside a mosque in the Saracha Alikhan area in PD9 of the provincial capital Jalalabad city on Saturday evening.

At least eight members of a family were killed and one more wounded in the shooting, sources added.

So far, the motives behind the attack are not cleared.

Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor, however, stated that the incident happened due to personal dispute over land.

Khogyani added that police have begun investigations.

So far, no group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack.

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Foreign envoys trying to persuade Taliban to attend Turkey Conference

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(Last Updated On: April 18, 2021)

Sources from the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) said on Sunday that envoys from the United Nations, U.S, Turkey, and Qatar in Doha are trying to convince the Taliban to attend the upcoming Istanbul Conference.

Following the announcement that all foreign troops will be out of Afghanistan by September and not May 1 as per the US-Taliban agreement signed in February last year, the Taliban said it will not participate in any conference on Afghanistan’s future until there has been a full withdrawal of all foreign forces.

On Sunday, Hajji Din Mohammad, the deputy head of the HCNR said UN and US envoys “have no meeting with us [Afghan delegation], they have put in efforts to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table in Turkey.”

“Taliban believe that the Doha deal has been violated by the US and therefore, they will not participate in any meeting,” said Mawalwi Qalamuddin, a politician.

The HCNR meanwhile said that they are working to finalize their list of participants for the Istanbul Conference.

“Preparations have been made for the Istanbul Conference and the agenda will be finalized soon,” said Faridon Khawzon, a spokesman for the HCNR.

Analysts however believe that the opportunity for peace will be missed if the Taliban does not attend the Istanbul Conference.

“The Taliban and government should try their best to reach peace, and should not miss this opportunity,” said Aziz Maharaj, an international relations analyst.

The HCNR says that Afghan negotiators are in contact with the Taliban in Doha to discuss related issues about peace.

Mohammad Naeem, the group’s Qatar-based spokesman announced last week that the group would not attend the Turkey Conference until all troops had left.

“Until all foreign forces completely withdraw from our homeland, the Islamic Emirate will not participate in any conference that shall make decisions about Afghanistan,” Naeem tweeted.

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