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UNICEF confirms death of 20 children in Khost and Kunar airstrikes

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(Last Updated On: April 20, 2022)

Mohamed Ag Ayoya, UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan, on Wednesday said the organization has confirmation that a total 20 children were killed during airstrikes carried out by Pakistan on April 16 in the provinces of Khost and Kunar.

“In Khost, twelve girls and three boys were killed, while in Kunar, three girls and two boys were killed,” Ayoya tweeted.

According to Ayoya the children were killed in their homes as they slept.

“We are shocked and saddened by this needless tragedy, and we send our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of all those affected,” Ayoya tweeted.

Ayoya says that UNICEF teams are on the ground supporting those affected, including with mobile teams providing health, nutrition and psycho-social services.

Violence against children, in all forms, must stop, Ayoya said.

Additionally, we have provided tents, hygiene kits for girls’ and women’s sanitary needs, winter kits that include warm clothes, recreational kits with games and activities for children, soap and water purification tablets, Ayoya said.

This comes after at least 47 people, including women and children, were killed and more than 20 others were injured in Pakistani military airstrikes and rocket attacks in Kunar and Khost provinces on April 16.

Pakistan claims it carried out attacks against Pakistani Taliban insurgent centers that threaten its security and stability from Afghanistan, and because of sniper attacks by the group that reportedly attack Pakistani troops from Afghanistan.

Zabihullah Mujahid, said that the forces of the Islamic Emirate are defending Afghanistan and that tensions with Pakistan will be resolved through diplomatic channels.

“We do not admit the existence of TTP, we do not allow anyone to use Afghan territory against another country or threaten our territory against Pakistan. Even if there are problems in difficult mountainous areas, they should be resolved jointly, not by bombing and attacks,” said Mujahid.

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India hosting key SCO anti-terror meeting

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(Last Updated On: May 16, 2022)

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s (SCO) anti-terror body Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) representatives came together Monday for the start of a three-day meeting in New Delhi.

Among those attending is a three-member Pakistani delegation that arrived in India on Saturday via the Wagah border.

The situation in Afghanistan and the worsening humanitarian crisis in the country is expected to be on the agenda.

According to Indian media reports, New Delhi is also expected to raise issues regarding the security situation in Afghanistan.

The RATS is the Executive Committee of the SCO, headquartered in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, which is a permanent unit of the organisation which serves to promote cooperation of member states against terrorism, separatism and extremism.

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IEA says girls’ schools will reopen soon

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(Last Updated On: May 16, 2022)

Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesman for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), and deputy minister of the IEA’s Ministry of Information and Culture, said progress has been made at a meeting of religious scholars and girls’ schools would reopen soon.

Speaking to reporters in Kabul on Sunday Mujahid said: “Good progress has been made at the meeting of the country’s scholars regarding the reopening of girls’ schools and other major political issues, and girls’ schools will be reopened in the near future.”

He said that the meeting, attended by tribal leaders and influential people of the country, is focusing on major political, security and social issues.

“The Ulema are consulting on the reopening of girls’ schools, and progress will be made soon,” said Mujahid.

Meanwhile, Anas Haqqani, a senior member of the Islamic Emirate, said on Wednesday that a meeting of religious scholars would be held to discuss the issue of girls going to school.

The closure of girls’ schools above the sixth grade sparked a major outcry around the world with the international community repeatedly calling for schools to reopen.

Officials at the Ministry of Education of the Islamic Emirate have said that they will reopen girls’ schools in the near future within the framework of Islamic principles.

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Uzbekistan to host international conference on Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: May 16, 2022)

Tashkent will host a high-level international conference on Afghanistan at the end of July, Uzbekistan’s interim Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Norov announced.

Norov said the key focus would be on security, political stability and the socio-economic development of the region.

“As for Afghanistan, unfortunately, we are seeing a decrease in the attention of the international community to the situation in this country. Meanwhile, the situation there remains difficult, due to the acute economic crisis and the difficult humanitarian situation, challenges to regional security and stability remain,” he said.

Tashkent Times reported that Norov felt the international community should take responsibility for the present and future of Afghanistan and provide continued assistance to resolve problems in the country.

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