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Taliban would not hesitate to kill entire gov’t negotiating team: Saleh

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(Last Updated On: August 16, 2020)

Afghan First Vice President Amrullah Saleh on Sunday blamed the Taliban for the attack on peace negotiator Fawzia Koofi.

Koofi and her sister came under attack by unknown armed men on Friday afternoon on the Kabul-Parwan highway in Qarabagh district of Kabul.

She escaped unharmed in the attack but she sustained minor injuries and was said to be in good health condition.

Saleh called the attack an “anti-human and a terrorist” act which he said was coordinated by the Taliban, adding that the group would kill the entire negotiating team if it could.

In a message on his Facebook page, Saleh wrote, “Only the Taliban and their followers seek their interest in eliminating the voice of diversity from Afghanistan. If the group got the chance they would not hesitate to kill the entire peace negotiators and the Taliban would kill them all in a suicide attack.”

It comes as the intra-Afghan talks, aimed to find a political settled to end the long-term conflict in the war-weary country, is expected to kick start after the Afghan government completes the release process of the final batch of Taliban inmates.

Mohammad Mohaqqeq, leader of Hezbe Wahdat-e Islami party said” “There are two motivations to bring peace in Afghanistan. First, the strong will of the Afghans, and secondly, the foreigners. This process, at least, will last two until three months.”

Meanwhile, the government announced its full preparations to kick off the negotiations.

“There is no complexity from our side, and we are ready to start the negotiations at any time, “said Nader Naderi, a peace negotiator.

The Taliban, on the other hand, underline that the Afghan government hasn’t done any fundamental work, and even the prisoner release has been delayed for several reasons which create an atmosphere of mistrust.

It comes as the Taliban on Saturday urged all laterals involved in peace process to avoid remarks that could damage the process.

“Peace talks and negotiations require all sides to display sincerity and truthfulness. Propaganda, unwarranted remarks and provocative comments do not benefit any side,” the group said in a statement.

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Survivors call for Kabul school bombing to be seen as act of genocide

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(Last Updated On: May 16, 2021)

The survivors and families of victims of the girls’ school bombing in Dasht-e-Barchi in Kabul last Sunday have called on the Afghan government and the international community to recognize the attack as an act of “genocide”.

Addressing a press conference Sunday, they stated that a specific ethnicity was targeted in the attack.

According to the families, at least 95 people – mostly schoolgirls – were killed and more than 200 others wounded in last week’s deadly bombing.
The families stated that the attack was a violation of human values and human rights.

Rajab Ali, who lost two of his relatives stated: “This brutality must be stopped. Such attacks must be prevented so that people can pursue education peacefully.”

Mina is another Afghan who lost a sister in the bombing, she stated: “I don’t want to witness such a terrible attack again.”

Meanwhile, students of Sayeed-ul-Shuhada – who are still dealing with severe mental anguish following the attack – stated that they will not give up and they “will firmly pursue their education.”

“I promise to continue this path (education) stronger than ever and I will definitely make Afghanistan one day,” Shirin Rezae, a student at the school said.

“I hope that the day will come when we will be capable of being candidates for the Presidency,” she added.

Masooma Yaqubi, another student stated: “We call on the international community, the United Nationals, and human rights organizations to investigate this brutal attack and to identify the perpetrators through a fact-finding commission.”

This comes after the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) last week urged the government to grant special protection to Hazaras and the community in Dasht-e-Barchi.

The AIHRC said in a statement that it was the government’s duty to protect the Hazara community against crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, or genocide.

The AIHRC stated that government has an obligation to “protect the population at risk of war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing or genocide.”

“The Afghan government has an obligation under International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and International Human Rights Law to protect the population at risk of war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing or genocide and international law obliges the government to take measures to end and prevent genocide and war crimes, crimes against humanity and persecution on the basis of ethnicity and gender,” the statement read.

“In October 2020, just over six months ago, more than 40 students died in an attack on Kawsar Danish tutoring center. In May 2020, almost a year ago 11 mothers were murdered with their unborn babies, two boys were, and an Afghan midwife was killed, with 5 mothers injured; this is femicide and infanticide,” the statement highlighted.

The AIHRC stressed that the Afghan government should fulfill its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights “which includes acknowledging massacres targeting Hazaras.”

“The Afghan government should communicate immediately a human rights-based protection plan for Dasht-e-Barchi and West Kabul. This should include plans for collective reparations,” the organization said.

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Laghman district police chief killed in accidental fire

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(Last Updated On: May 16, 2021)

Abdul Zahir, Police Chief of Laghman’s Dawlat Shah District, was killed accidentally by Afghan forces artillery fire, Laghman Governor said.

The incident took place on Sunday afternoon.

Laghman Governor Rahmatullah Yarmal told Ariana News that the Afghan forces were targeting Taliban strongholds but due to a “technical issue a mortar shell hit the position of the police commander in the area.”

Yarmal stated that one of Zahir’s bodyguards was also killed in the incident.

Yarmal did not provide further details.

Dawlat Shah is one of Laghman’s volatile districts.

The Afghan forces have launched an operation to clear the district of Taliban presence.

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ISIS claims responsibility for Kabul mosque bombing

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(Last Updated On: May 16, 2021)

ISIS (Daesh) has claimed responsibility for Friday’s bombing at a mosque in Kabul that left at least 14 worshippers, including the mosque’s Imam, dead, SITE Intelligence Group reported.

The explosion happened inside a mosque in Shakardarah district of Kabul province during Friday prayers.

The explosion took place during a three-day Eid ceasefire between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

According to SITE, ISIS said its fighters had placed an explosive device inside the mosque and detonated it once worshippers were inside offering prayers on the second day of the Eid-ul-Fitr.

The ceasefire ended at midnight on Saturday.

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