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Ten Australian soldiers fired after release of war crimes report

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(Last Updated On: November 26, 2020)

Australia has issued termination notices to at least 10 special forces soldiers after the release of a report last week that found credible evidence of unlawful killings of 39 unarmed Afghan prisoners and civilians, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) said on Thursday.

The report stated that 19 Australian soldiers were involved in the killings however, none were identified byt have been referred for possible prosecution.

However, ABC reported that 10 soldiers have been formally advised that they will be dismissed.

This comes after reports emerged late Wednesday that families of the victims have called for the alleged perpetrators to be tried in Afghanistan.

Some have also welcomed the possibility of compensation for the deaths of their family members.

“I need justice and also expect compensation for the loss and pain they have caused us,” Abdul Latif from Sarkhume village in Uruzgan province told ABC.

“If justice is done according to our Islamic law – because these crimes were committed in Afghanistan – these soldiers should be prosecuted according to Islamic law. If it is according to [Australian] law, they must imprison them for life,” said Abdul Latif, whose father Haji Sardar was found dead after a special forces raid. “We want both justice and compensation.”

The report meanwhile recommended that where there was “credible information” that an Afghan had been unlawfully killed, Australia should compensate the family before waiting for criminal liability to be established.

“This will be an important step in rehabilitating Australia’s international reputation, in particular with Afghanistan, and it is simply the right thing to do,” the report said.

But Australian legal experts say it is very unlikely any trials can be held outside Australia.

“The only way in which an Afghanistan prosecution could take place is if Australia waived the immunity, which is most unlikely,” Donald Rothwell, professor of international law at ANU told ABC.

“That would then also raise legal issues with respect to extradition.”

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Two police personnel killed in targeted explosion in Kabul

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(Last Updated On: January 16, 2021)

At least two Afghan National Police (ANP) personnel were killed in an early morning IED explosion in Kabul on Saturday. 

According to police the explosion happened in PD3 in Dehbore square area of Kabul. 

Police said a Land Cruiser, belonging to Kabul Police Headquarters, had been targeted in the IED explosion. 

One other ANP member was wounded in the explosion. 

So far no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

This comes after a marked increase in targeted killings across the country – specifically against public figures, government workers, journalists and civil society members.

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12 local police killed in Taliban attack in Herat

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(Last Updated On: January 16, 2021)

At least 12 members of Afghan local police were killed in an attack by Taliban “infiltrators” in Herat province, local officials confirmed Saturday.

Herat police spokesman Abdul Ahad Walidaza said the incident occurred on Friday night in Ghorian district.

According to Walizada a delegation has arrived in the area to investigate the incident.

So far the Taliban has not commented.

Earlier sources in Herat province said three Taliban infiltrators killed at least 12 members of the local uprising forces, took their weapons, ammunition and fled the area.

Sources added that Taliban infiltrators had joined the force three nights ago.

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Parliament rejects draft budget for second time

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(Last Updated On: January 16, 2021)

Members of the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament) have rejected the proposed budget for the new fiscal year 1400 for the second time.

MPs said the second draft budget is also unbalanced and still does not address the issue of equal pay for government employees.

MPs said they will not approve the budget until the money has been allocated appropriately and that demands of the parliament regarding the equalizing of salaries are taken into account.

They said that the government also added two more articles to the draft budget which were not acceptable to them. 

MPs first rejected the draft budget on December 30 citing “serious problems” which they said hinged on the disproportionate allocation of money to projects and emergency codes. 

The draft budget was approved by the cabinet in November following adjustments in the Public Finance and Expenditure Management Regulation, a draft plan of hydrocarbons regulation; draft statute of Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (the Afghan power company); and the draft law on cadastre.

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