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Taliban to form a 12-member council to run Afghanistan: Sources

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(Last Updated On: August 24, 2021)

Sources close to the Taliban leadership told the American publication Foreign Policy that the group will form a 12-member council to run the country.

According to the report, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s political deputy; Mullah Mohammad Yaqub, the son of Mullah Mohammad Omar; and Khalil-ur-Rahman Haqqani, a senior member of Haqqani network will be included in the council.

“Our elders are busy. Consultations about a political system are underway. When we conclude our consultations, we will be witness to the system,” said Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman.

Hamid Karzai, Abdullah Abdullah and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar will also be members of this council, reports indicated.

“Mullah Barada can work with other partners to form a truly inclusive government,” said Sayed Hafizullah Naqi, a member of the leadership of Hezb -i- Islami.

According to the report, the Taliban are ready to give some members of the previous government some ministries as they want to form an inclusive government.

The Taliban, meanwhile, have said they will not form a government while the United States has a military presence in Afghanistan.

The Council of Shiite Ulema also reiterated the need for an inclusive government to be formed by the Taliban.

“Creating an Islamic system acceptable to all and forming an inclusive government is our desire,” said an Ulema member Sayed Hussain Alami Balkhi.

Afghanistan has been in a political and legal vacuum for ten days, with sources saying the Taliban will not announce the formation of a government until the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan is complete.

“A broad-based, comprehensive and inclusive Islamic system should be formed with the participation of all ethnic groups, brothers of Afghanistan,” said Mohammad Akbari, a member of the Shiite Council of Afghanistan.

In such a situation, one of the obstacles to forming an inclusive government with the Taliban is Ahmad Massoud’s opposition to the Taliban in Panjshir. Although political talks are ongoing to resolve the stalemate between the two sides, both sides have warned each other of the possibility of using the military option.

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Daesh claims responsibility for mosque attack in Kandahar

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(Last Updated On: October 16, 2021)

Islamic State (Daesh) claimed responsibility for a suicide bomber attack at a Shi’ite mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar which left dozens killed and injured, a statement posted by the group’s Amaq news agency said on Friday.

The statement added that two Daesh fighters shot the guards of the mosque dead, broke in and blew themselves up between two groups of worshippers, one of which consisted of around 300 people.

It was the second week in a row that Daesh militants bombed Friday prayers and killed dozens of worshippers.

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Muttaqi calls on international community to recognize IEA government

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(Last Updated On: October 15, 2021)

Afghanistan’s Foreign acting Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi accused the international community on Friday (October 15) of “violating the rights of Afghan people” by not recognizing the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) government.

Speaking to Reuters on the second day of a two-day visit to Turkey’s capital of Ankara, Muttaqi said he discussed the recognition of the IEA’s government with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu as well.

“The fact that all of them are recognized and the new Islamic government of Afghanistan is not recognized is an injustice and oppression of the Afghan people… Afghanistan wants positive relations with the world and the world must respond positively to this message,” he said.

Almost two months after the former Western-backed government collapsed and IEA forces swept into Kabul, the IEA administration has pushed to build relations with other countries to help stave off a catastrophic economic crisis.

But the IEA has so far refused to give ground on allowing girls to return to high school, one of the key demands of the international community after a decision last month that schools above the sixth grade would only reopen for boys.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday he had conveyed Turkey’s recommendations regarding the inclusion of women in the workforce and education of girls.
Meanwhile, Cavusoglu reiterated the importance of government inclusiveness for Afghanistan’s unity.

“We once again explained the importance of including people from all ethnic and religious groups, besides the Taliban (Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan), in the administration. Especially in these difficult times, this is important in terms of establishing unity and solidarity within the country,” Cavusoglu said.

NATO member Turkey maintained its embassy in Kabul after Western countries withdrew following the fall of the U.S.-backed Afghan government and have urged those countries to increase engagement.

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Blast targets mosque in Kandahar

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(Last Updated On: October 15, 2021)

A large explosion ripped through a mosque in the southern Kandahar province on Friday afternoon.

The blast happened at the Shi’ite Fatimiya mosque during Friday prayers, causing heavy casualties.

Sources said at least 34 people were killed and 69 others wounded in the explosion. Afghan officials have not confirmed the casualties so far.

Qari Saeed Khosti, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, has told Reuters that authorities were collecting details of the explosion.

The blast took place days after a suicide bomb attack claimed by Islamic State on a Shi’ite mosque in the northern city of Kunduz that killed and wounded more than 200 people.

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

The blast, coming so soon after the Kunduz attack underlined the increasingly uncertain security in Afghanistan as the Islamic State has stepped up operations following the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan victory over the Western-backed government in Kabul in August.

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