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Taliban Fighters Relate Violence Reduction with Progress in Negotiating Table

Ariana News

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(Last Updated On: November 11, 2019)

Taliban fighters say the reduction of violence is related directly to progress at the negotiating table.

Ariana News reporter Samai Jahesh has interviewed a number of Taliban’s fighters in an area, that is controlled by militants.

Jahesh and his cameraman were preparing a report in a Taliban-controlled village, when they encountered Taliban militants with motorbikes, who took them to an undisclosed area.

The militants asked Ariana News reporter to conduct an interview with them. During the interview, Taliban militants said they are ready to lay down arms if their leaders reach a political settlement.

“We support their position to the last breath of our life and will accept their every order. We are ready if that is peace or war,” a Taliban commander said.

However, the Taliban commander emphasized that they will continue fighting and carrying out suicide attacks, until a peace accord is signed.

When asked why they are carrying out bombings and suicide attacks at mosques and public areas, he replied: “It is not intentional. If the suicide bomber, who tears himself to pieces, understands that a Quran is here, he will not carry out his attack.”

Abed, another Taliban fighter, who seems to be on his twenties, said he recently joined the Taliban group in the area. A couple of years ago, he graduated from high school, and then he traveled to Iran, where he stayed for three years before returning back to his province and joining with the Taliban. He is married and has an infant daughter.

“We have declared Jihad to defend our soil and our honor,” Abed said.

After several hours, a Taliban militant, through a radio communication service, asked for permission to let the reporters leave the area.

COVID-19

135 new Coronavirus cases registered – Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: July 14, 2020)

The Ministry of Public Health says that in the last twenty-four hours, 135 positive cases of Coronavirus have been registered in the whole country, with Kabul having the highest number of cases of Covid-19 with 51 people.

Coronavirus cases are declining in Afghanistan. However, the number of patients in the country is still in the triple digits.

 According to the statistics of the Ministry of Health, 135 positive cases of Coronavirus have been registered in the country in the last 24 hours, of which 51 were in Kabul, 37 in Herat, 16 in Ghor, nine in Logar, nine in Balkh, four in Kunduz, three in Baghlan, three in Laghman, two in Takhar and one in Kunar have been infected with the Coronavirus.

The Ministry of Health has said that with the registration of these cases, the total number of people infected with the coronavirus in Afghanistan has reached 34,740.

“Over the past 24 hours, 135 positive cases of the coronavirus have been identified in Afghanistan,” said Masoumah Jafari, deputy spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health.

The ministry added that 24 people had died in the past 24 hours and that the death toll from the Coronavirus had risen to 1,062.

According to the Ministry of Health, in the past 24 hours, 279 people with the Coronavirus have recovered and the number of recoveries has reached 21,454.

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Around 3,000 civilians casualties in six months: AIHRC

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(Last Updated On: July 14, 2020)

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) said in its six-month report that 1,213 Afghan civilians were killed and 1,744 were injured in the first six months of 2020. These casualties were reported in 880 incidents.

The Independent Human Rights Commission (IHRC) said that the death toll was up 19 percent from last year. In the first six months of this year, an average of 16 civilians killed every day, according to the report.

According to the Afghan Human Rights Commission, 31 percent of all civilian casualties were in targeted assassinations, 26 percent as a result of landmine and car bombings, and 11.7 percent in suicide attacks, 11.5 percent in ground warfare, as well as airstrikes and night operations.

533 killed and 412 wounded as a result of targeted assassinations.

A total of 259 civilians were killed and at least 507 were injured when mines and car bombs exploded. Civilian casualties in these types of incidents show a seven percent increase compared to the same time last year.

According to the report, the number of female deaths in the first six months of 2020 has decreased by 0.5 percent compared to the first half of 2019.

“In 2020, a total of 378 civilians were victims of rocket attacks, including 117 deaths and 261 injuries,” said Naeem Nazari, deputy director of the Human Rights Commission. “The number of civilian casualties from rocket attacks is 47% lower than in the first half of last year.”

According to the findings of the Human Rights Commission, of the total civilian casualties in the first six months of 2020, 48.5% were caused by the Taliban, 26.7% by unknown perpetrators, 15.5% by government forces, and 6.3% by ISIS, 2.3 percent were carried out by international forces, and the rest were casualties from rocket fire by Pakistani forces in Kunar, Kandahar, Paktia and Khost provinces.

The Ministry of Interior does not reject the possibility of civilian casualties but says police have worked to prevent civilian casualties during the war.

The Afghan Human Rights Commission urges the war parties in Afghanistan to respect the international humanitarian law treaties, not to harm civilians during armed conflict, and to immediately start peace talks by establishing a ceasefire.

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Embezzlement in Afghan customs; $1 billion annually lost to graft

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(Last Updated On: July 14, 2020)

More than $1 billion annually is being lost to embezzlement from the Afghan customs revenues. 

Integrity Watch of Afghanistan said Tuesday local tyrants have embezzled millions of dollars from Herat customs, adding that the government has no plan to prevent stealing of public treasury.

A statistic shared by officials from Herat customs shows that the customs have more than 30 billion AFN incomes per year but less than 20 billion AFN had been collected in the government’s account.

Since 1390, the Persian calendar, the Ministry of Finance and Herat customs have recorded annual revenue figures as follow:

In 1390, Herat Customs had 16 billion AFN incomes. The revenues in 1392 declined to 13 billion AFN and decreased to 9 billion AFN in 1393 compared to the previous years.

The statistics show 12 billion AFN incomes in 1394, while the figure increased to 20 billion AFN in 1396 and 1397. On 1398 the incomes once again declined to 16 billion AFN.

Meanwhile, in Twitter and Facebook posts a senior official of Herat customs has also shared daily incomes of the organization for the current year: On March 4, daily income was 136 million AFN, on July 8 the revenue was 119 million AFN and on July 9 the income was 122 million AFN, according to the statistics.

Meanwhile, the incomes of the organization could reach 33 billion AFN in the current year, figures show.

The Herat customs have averaged more than 10 billion AFN in revenue each year, but these figures do not reflect the actual incomes.

The Ministry of Finance, however, says not only the customs of Herat but also no customs across the country have the same revenue per year, due to a high volume of goods.

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