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Taliban seize control of Ghazni city after governor makes ‘secret deal’

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(Last Updated On: August 12, 2021)

A Ghazni provincial council member has confirmed that Ghazni city fell to the Taliban on Thursday morning following a “secret deal” between the Taliban and Daud Laghmani, the provincial governor.

Amanullah Kamrani, a member of the provincial council, told Ariana News that with the help of the Taliban, Laghmani fled the province and tried to reach Kabul.

Taliban fighters launched an offensive against Ghazni city early Thursday and soon seized the governor’s compound, police headquarters and provincial office of the National Directorate of Security (NDS).

A video clip on social media shows Laghmani’s convoy of vehicles driving through militant checkpoints while being escorted out of the province by Taliban.

“Ghazni province fell based on a secret deal between the governor and Taliban. Ghazni governor in coordination with Taliban escaped to Kabul,” said Kamrani.

The Afghan Ministry of Interior (MoI) confirmed that Ghazni’s governor and his deputy were arrested by police in Wardak province.

“The Ghazni governor, his deputy and other accompanying members were arrested… in Maidan Wardak province,” said Mirwais Stanekzai, spokesman for the MoI.

Military officials, meanwhile, confirmed that Taliban has seized some areas, but that the Taliban militants will be met with resistance.

“It is our commitment to people and Allah (God) that we will defend the soil and people. Afghan forces’ efforts should be praised,” said Bismillah Mohammadi, acting defense minister.
“I assure you that I will perform my job. Taliban should learn from their defeat in Kandahar. They (Taliban) have lost their commanders, we will defeat the group,” said Haibatullah Alizai, the recently appointed army chief of staff.

The Taliban has said in the past it will not attack cities, however in the past two weeks, the group has seized the Nimruz, Kunduz, Baghlan, Jawzjan, Samangan, Ghazni, Takhar, Sar-e-Pul, Badakhshan and Farah capitals.

“We have lost some areas, but people stand by us. We have power,” said Hamdullah Mohib, the national security adviser of Afghanistan.

Local sources meanwhile told Ariana News that the Taliban has launched an offensive on Ghor and Badghis capitals.

In addition to this, violence has escalated in Herat, Kandahar and Helmand provinces.

Reports indicate that the Taliban has seized a government prison in Kandahar city.

In addition sources confirmed that Yar Mohammd Dostum, son of Marshal Dostum, along with his forces, who was under Taliban siege was transferred to Balkh province.

This comes after President Ashraf Ghani said on Wednesday, during a visit to Balkh province, that the Taliban will be defeated.

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Three brothers killed in Paktia in dispute over land

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(Last Updated On: September 19, 2021)

Three members of one family were killed and one more wounded in a clash in eastern Paktia province, local officials said Sunday.

According to Islamic Emirate officials, the clash happened between two families in Shakar Khel village in Gardez city, the provincial capital, on Saturday evening.

The incident happened after an argument broke out over a land dispute between the two sides, the officials said.

The officials stated that all the victims were brothers.

Mawlawi Hemat, police chief of Gardez PD1, stated that three members of one family have been arrested in connection with the incident.

He said Islamic Emirate forces are investigating and hope to arrest the other culprits.

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Kabul municipality drawing up service plans, order removal of T-walls

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(Last Updated On: September 19, 2021)

The acting head of Kabul municipality on Sunday ordered the removal of the city’s blast walls and said plans are being drawn up to address urban challenges and to provide effective services.

Addressing a press conference in Kabul, Mawlawi Hamdullah Nomani said the removal of barriers and concrete walls is a part of the plan going forward

Mawlawi Nomani said that the construction of high rise buildings and usurpation of land are challenges that will be addressed in future.

“Investigations about buildings and land grabbing, which were [prone to] corruption will be addressed. We will not allow this, people cannot misuse this. We will investigate this when all institutions resume work,” said Mawlawi Nomani.

According to him, the Islamic Emirate will urge donors to complete projects that have stopped in the past month.

“We are in contact with donors of 100 projects that have now stopped. We have not received a positive or negative answer about the fate of the projects,” he said.

Mawlawi Nomani also said that the removal of barriers and concrete blast walls will be completed soon.

“We will remove barriers that spoil the city, most of these were placed by security institutions. We are telling people who erected barriers to remove them, otherwise we will remove them and the people will have to pay municipality expenses,” he said.

Hundreds of thousands of concrete walls, known in Kabul as T-walls, have for years spoilt the look of the city.

Almost everywhere you look in the Afghan capital, you see these tall, thick walls, which range in height from three to seven metres, that surround homes, businesses, schools, embassies and government compounds.

Over the years demand was high and as more walls went up, traffic problems increased as roads were all too often blocked when new walls went up.

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Female teachers concerned about their future

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(Last Updated On: September 19, 2021)

Female teachers for grades seven to 12 say they are uncertain about their future as they have been instructed by the Ministry of Education not to return to work.

Many of these teachers say they are the only breadwinners in their families and have asked to return to teaching.

This comes after the Ministry of Education issued a notice calling on male students and male teachers from grades seven to 12 to return to school.

This came into effect on Saturday.

However, the notice did not make mention of female students and teachers, nor did it give any indication of what would happen in future to the hundreds of thousands of secondary school girls.

Khatara, a Grade 12 Pashto subject teacher at the Bibi Sara Khairkhana school in Kabul, said that the Kabul Education Department had asked her not to return to school until further notice, and that the education process for girls in Grades 7 and above had stopped.

Khatara, who is her family’s only breadwinner, has been a teacher at the school for 15 years. However, she is now struggling financially and has called on education ministry officials to allow female teachers to return to work.

“If an educated woman is not represented in society like a woman doctor, then who would treat women? If this issue is not addressed, there will be an education crisis in the country,” said Khatara, the school teacher.

Family members of Khatara are worried about what their future will entail if the family’s only breadwinner loses her job.

“We call on the Islamic Emirate to allow women to continue their work. Many women are their family’s only breadwinners,” said Basharatullah, Khatara’s brother.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s Cultural Commision at the Ministry of Information and Culture said on Saturday that they are working on a way to resume the process of education for women and girls in the country.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Children’s Fund on Saturday welcomed the move to reopen secondary schools in Afghanistan, but stressed that girls must not be left out

“We are deeply worried, however, that many girls may not be allowed back at this time,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore in a statement.

She said it is critical for all girls to resume their education and that female teachers need to resume work.

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