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Three Arrested in Connection With Assassination of Jabar Qahraman

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(Last Updated On: October 17, 2018)

Three suspects have been arrested in connection with the apparent assassination of the parliamentary candidate, Abdul Jabar Qahraman, the Ministry of Interior said on Wednesday.

“Qahraman was among four people killed by the blast, another seven were wounded and three suspects have been arrested,” Wais Ahmad Barmak, the interior minister said.

Qahraman became the 10th election candidate to die ahead of Saturday’s polls when the blast tore through his campaign office.

“Abdul Jabar Qahraman had been meeting with supporters in his campaign office in the southern province of Helmand when a bomb hidden under a sofa exploded,” provincial governor spokesman Omar Zhwak added.

The Taliban quickly claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted online.

In the wake of the attack, President Ghani condemned the group, saying they will not undermine citizens’ faith in democracy.

“Such brutal acts of the terrorists and their supporters cannot weaken people’s trust in the peaceful and democratic processes,” said Ghani.

The attacks came as the Taliban warned teachers and students not to participate in the vote and not to allow schools to be used as polling centers.

The insurgents said in a statement that they will target Saturday’s elections, which they view as illegitimate, but that they do not want to harm civilians.

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Taliban team member says contentious issue is US-Taliban deal

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(Last Updated On: September 26, 2020)

A member of the Taliban’s negotiating team, Khairullah Khairkhwa, said on Saturday that the main point of contention in the ongoing intra-Afghan talks in Doha was that the Afghanistan Republic was refusing to deal with the current talks in the framework of the US-Taliban agreement.

This agreement was conditions-based and was signed in Doha in February – which ultimately led to bringing the two warring sides together.

Khairkhwa said in a video recording that “real controversy is that the Afghan side is reluctant to accept that intra-Afghan talks are underway as part of a Taliban deal with the United States.”

According to Khairkhwa, the second point of contention is that Shiites say that decisions should not be based solely on Hanafi jurisprudence. The Afghan negotiating team want Hanafi, Shiite and human rights included.

Hanafi is one of the four schools of thought of religious jurisprudence within Sunni Islam and makes considerable use of reason or opinion in legal decisions.

Talks started two weeks ago between the two sides which clearly appear to have reached some sort of deadlock although very few details have been released on the discussions by either side.

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Taliban record video of their checkpoint actions close to Kabul

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(Last Updated On: September 26, 2020)

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior downplayed claims of Taliban checkpoint activity in Kabul on Saturday but a video clip shared on social media sparked concern among the city’s residents. 

The video clip, appearing to have been taken by the Taliban, surfaced on Saturday indicating Taliban checkpoints had been in PD5 in Kabul – in Bagh-e-Dawood, Qale Haidar Khan and in Company area and Arghande in Paghman district. 

One Taliban member had a radio with him while a second was armed. A third Taliban member appeared to have taken the video. 

In the video the insurgents stopped and questioned truck drivers and at least one taxi driver on where they were heading and where they had come from. They also asked one driver about the situation along the Kabul-Ghazni highway.

One Taliban said to a truck driver: “Company area of Kabul province where Islamic Emirate Mujahideen are present and asking people and … (to the driver) how are you? You, you ok?

Staring at the driver of the truck he said: “Where have you come from?”

The driver answered he had come from Ghazni and said he was on his way to Kabul. 

The Ministry of Interior, however, downplayed the claims, saying that the Afghan security forces have an active presence in the areas.

“The group’s physical presence is not lasting. They always flee from one place to another area. Our joint security forces have an active presence where the Taliban claim to be,” Tariq Arian, the ministry’s spokesperson said.

The video sparked a worried response from social media users and one resident in PD5 told Ariana news that government is not maintaining security in the area. 

He said a friend had recently been shot dead by the Taliban but “government did not address the issue and police told us you [must] pay Usher (taxes) to the Taliban,” for protection. 

Meanwhile, Afghan National Police said during the night Taliban’s Red Unit launched attacks on security checkpoints on the outskirts of Kabul city, including Company area.

This comes amid rising violence across the country that has sparked serious concern among the country’s leaders and the international community – especially as the Afghan government and the Taliban are still engaged in the early stages of peace negotiations in Doha. 

Leaders across the world have called for a reduction in violence and an urgent ceasefire to end the ongoing conflict that is taking its toll on war-weary Afghans who have lived through almost 40 years of war. 

 

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Lebanon’s Prime Minister-designate quits as country’s crisis deepens

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(Last Updated On: September 26, 2020)

Lebanon’s Prime Minister-designate Mustapha Adib resigned Saturday after failing to form a new government in the crisis-hit country. 

Adib was tasked with forming a new government last month after the resignation of Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s cabinet following the massive explosion in Beirut that caused widespread destruction across the city.

The blast came at a time when the country was reeling under a crippling economic crisis while dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

Adib’s resignation is a blow to French President Emmanuel Macron’s bid to rally sectarian leaders to tackle the worst crisis since the nation’s 1975-1990 civil war.

Adib’s appointment came after Macron intervened and secured a consensus on naming him in a country where power is shared between Muslims and Christians.

On Saturday, Adib told reporters he was stepping down after it became clear that the kind of cabinet he wished to form was “bound to fail”.

A source close to Macron reportedly said the situation that led to Adib’s resignation amounted to “collective betrayal” by political parties.

“It is indispensable to have a government capable of receiving international aid. France will not abandon Lebanon,” said the official.

Lebanon is in desperate need of financial assistance but France — the former colonial power — and others have refused to provide aid before serious reforms are made.

Adib announced he was stepping down but said Lebanon must not abandon the French plan or squander Macron’s goodwill.

“I stress that this initiative must continue,” he said after meeting President Michel Aoun.

He wished his successor well in the “hard task” of forming a government.

Politicians had promised Paris they would have a government in place by mid-September.

“It’s a setback, but we’re not giving up,” a French diplomatic source said.

Under the French roadmap, the new government would take swift steps to tackle corruption and implement reforms needed to trigger billions of dollars of international aid to fix an economy that has been crushed by a mountain of debt.

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