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Top Al-Qaeda leader killed in Farah: NDS

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(Last Updated On: November 10, 2020)

Mohammad Hanif Alias Abdullah leader of Al-Qaeda for the Indian Sub-continent was killed by the National Directorate of Security (NDS) Special Forces in an operation in the Bakwa district of Farah province, said Tuesday in a statement.

According to the statement, Hanif, a Pakistani national and a very close aide to Asim Omer, was given shelter and protection by the Taliban.

He also was deputy so-called Amir for AQIS for a period, the statement noted.

“This person had a membership of the Taliban group and after 2010 he also became a member of the al-Qaeda network. In the same year, he entered Helmand with the direct cooperation of the Taliban, and then with the help of the Taliban he was moved to Farah province,” NDS statement said.

The statement further indicated that Hanif also had close ties with the Taliban and assisted and trained the Taliban members in explosives, car bombs, and improvised explosive devices.

The Taliban, however, did not comment yet.

The latest development comes as last month, the NDS forces had killed an al-Qaeda key member for the Indian sub-continent, Abu Muhsen al-Masri in an operation in Ghazni province.

Al-Masri, an Egyptian national was believed to be the “second-in-command” in al-Qaeda and had been on the US’s Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Most Wanted Terrorist list.

Meanwhile, a UN official previously had claimed that despite the Taliban’s pledge in February to cut ties with al-Qaeda, the group is still “heavily embedded” within the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Speaking to the BBC, Edmund Fitton-Brown, co-ordinator of the UN’s Islamic State, al-Qaeda and Taliban Monitoring Team, said there has been regular communication between the two groups despite the US-Taliban agreement signed in Doha in February.

“The Taliban were talking regularly and at a high level with al-Qaeda and reassuring them that they would honor their historic ties,” Fitton-Brown said.

According to him, the relationship between al-Qaeda and the Taliban was “not substantively” changed by the deal struck with the US.

“Al-Qaeda is heavily embedded with the Taliban and they do a good deal of military action and training activities with the Taliban, and that has not changed,” he said.

BBC reported that although al-Qaeda’s strength and ability to strike the West has significantly diminished over the past decade, its leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is believed to still be based in Afghanistan along with a number of other senior figures in the group.

But, Fitton-Brown said despite its lower profile, al-Qaeda remained “resilient” and “dangerous”.

Earlier to that UN in a report states that the Taliban has failed to fulfill one of the core parts of the US-Taliban agreement, namely that it would break ties with al-Qaeda. The agreement was signed in February in Doha, Qatar, after months of negotiations.

Al-Qaeda has 400 to 600 operatives active in 12 Afghan provinces and is running training camps in the east of the country, according to the report.
The Afghan government has also previously spoken of the Taliban’s close ties to ISIS and other terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda.

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Thirty Allied Chiefs of Defence discuss the changing nature of warfare

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(Last Updated On: September 20, 2021)

NATO’s thirty Chiefs of Defence gathered in Athens, Greece on Sunday for the fall session of the Military Committee Conference 2021.

The agenda for the Conference was challenging but necessary so that the Military Committee could provide guidance to the Strategic Commanders and advice to the NATO Secretary General and the North Atlantic Council.

According to a statement issued by NATO, discussions focused on NATO-led operations, missions and activities and the threats and challenges facing NATO.

The Chiefs of Defence exchanged views on the military input to the Alliance’s lessons learnt process that will evaluate the Alliance’s engagement in Afghanistan, the statement read.

The Chiefs of Defence discussed enduring threats and peacetime challenges. They stressed how the geopolitical environment was changing and the line between peace and crisis was increasingly blurred. The Military Committee then deliberated the changing nature of warfare and how the Alliance needs to maintain pace with the speed of technological change.

The final meeting of the day saw the Chiefs of Defence nominate Lieutenant General Janusz Adamczak as the next Director General of the International Military Staff. Lieutenant General Janusz Adamczak from Poland will take office in the summer of 2022.

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3 national snooker team players off to good start in world champs

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(Last Updated On: September 19, 2021)

Afghanistan’s National Snooker Team has gotten off to a good start in this year’s Six-Red World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

National team member Raees Khan Sindzai won his first match against his opponent from Ukraine ending with a score of 5-4.

Sindzai also defeated his Iraqi rival 5-4 in his second match and his next game will be against Bahrain.

Saleh Mohammad Mohammadi, another Afghan team member, beat his Egyptian rival 5-0 but lost his second match to his Belgian opponent, 4-5.

His third game will be against Palestine.

The Six-Red World Championships comes just days after the three team members took part in the Asian Snooker Championships, which were also held in Doha.

The tournaments are part of three major billiards and snooker events – including the GCC Billiards and Snooker tournament – organised by the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation.

It is the first time a country hosts these three major championships in succession, separated by only a few days.

The competitions started with the Asian championship from September 12 to 16, then the Six-Red World Championship from September 17 to 21. This championship will be followed by the GCC Billiards and Snooker Championship from September 22 to 28.

President of the International Snooker Federation and Executive Director of the Qatar Federation, Mubarak Al Khayarin, described Qatar’s hosting of the World and Asian Championships as a great challenge, especially after stopping nearly two years of activity due to the repercussions of the continuing outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Qatar’s The Peninsula reported.

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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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