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US Embassy warns of extremist attacks against women

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(Last Updated On: September 18, 2020)

The US Embassy in Kabul has warned that extremists groups are planning to carry out attacks against a “variety of targets in Afghanistan.”

The Embassy issued the warning on Thursday but did not specify which organizations were plotting the attacks.

“The U.S. Embassy in Kabul warns U.S. citizens that extremist organizations continue to plan attacks against a variety of targets in Afghanistan, including a heightened risk of attacks targeting female government and civilian workers, including teachers, human rights activists, office workers, and government employees,” the US Embassy said.

This comes as the government and the Taliban negotiators are sitting around the negotiating table in Doha for the first time to pave the way for ending the conflict in the war-torn country.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Aljazeera, Abdullah Abdullah, the Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation said that the two sides have to come to a shared agreement on Afghanistan’s future – one where the will of the people can be exercised freely.

He said that Afghanistan’s future would include one that can sustain itself and one that leads to durable peace and stability.

As intra-Afghan negotiations continue, between the Afghan negotiating team and the Taliban, Abdullah said both sides need to come to a shared agreement on how to move forward.

“Both sides should see the need and come to the realization that we must put people first,” he said and on whether the country’s future was a Republic or an Emirate system, he stated it would come “down to the will of the people”.

However, he stated it was important that the will of the people should be exercised in a freeway “one person, one vote is important.”

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Kandahar Airport cancels flights after rocket attack

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(Last Updated On: August 1, 2021)

Officials said Sunday that all flights into and out of Kandahar Airport have been cancelled after a rocket attack overnight.

Kandahar Airport director Massoud Ahmad Pashtun said repair work was being carried out and the airport would reopen later Sunday.

This comes after at least three rockets hit the airport over night Sunday.

“Last night three rockets were fired at the airport and two of them hit the runway… Due to this all flights from the airport have been cancelled,” Pashtun told AFP.
An official at the civil aviation authority in Kabul confirmed the rocket attack.

The Taliban have for weeks launched assaults on the outskirts of Kandahar, stirring fears that the insurgents were on the verge of capturing the provincial capital.

Kandahar’s air base is vital to providing the logistics and air support needed to keep the militants from overrunning Afghanistan’s second-biggest city.

The attack on the airport came as the Taliban inched closer to overrunning two other provincial capitals — Herat in the west and Lashkar Gah in the south, AFP reported.

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Sharp rise in displaced families fleeing conflict: UN report

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(Last Updated On: July 31, 2021)

At least 330,000 people have been displaced in the last seven months due to an increase in conflict across Afghanistan, the UN reported Saturday.

“So far in 2021, 330,000 people have been displaced by conflict across Afghanistan. Another five million people remain displaced since 2012,” the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) reported.

According to the report, the fighting has also been reported in new areas in the northeast province of Kunar, displacing 20,000 people within the province, and Nangahar Province. 

“Nine UN and partner organizations’ teams are assessing needs in Kandahar. Last week, about 1,800 internally displaced people received food, relief items, and water and sanitation hygiene support as well as physiotherapy and cash assistance. In Kunar, UN and partner organizations are assessing needs and responding.

“Urgent needs include food, water, shelter, and health services,” the report said.

Maryam [not her real name] and her family are among an estimated 330,000 Afghans who have been newly displaced inside the country since the start of this year by an upsurge in violence. 

“There was war. Bombs were being dropped. My father was killed there, and a lot of my relatives were killed as well and we had to flee. I was responsible for my children and I didn’t want them to be killed. So, I came here with my elderly mother,” Maryam said.

“Our situation is very difficult. As you can see, we are all displaced. Our children need food. They would ask for anything, they are children, they don’t know whether we have it or not.”

“We want a normal life just like everyone else. I want my children to become something in Afghanistan, to become doctors, engineers, or something. That is my hope,” she stated.

As conflict intensifies in northern Afghanistan and other parts of the country, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, warned of an imminent humanitarian crisis, saying failure to reach a peace agreement will see further displacement. 

Fahim Hamdard, Senior Field Assistant, UN Refugee Agency, stated: “Over the last year, families have been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, a devastating drought and now increased violence in the north and northeast regions is driving more people from their homes every day.”

Amid an overall increase in civilian casualties, the proportion of women and children affected by violence has risen sharply since January, adding to the toll Afghanistan’s decades-long conflict has taken on people like Maryam and her family. 

UNHCR and its partners are assisting newly displaced Afghans with emergency shelter, food, health care, water, and sanitation support, and cash assistance, but a shortage of funding means humanitarian resources are falling dramatically short.

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Nuristan death toll rises to over 113 following deadly flash floods

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(Last Updated On: July 31, 2021)

The death toll from last week’s flash floods in eastern Nuristan province has risen to 113, the Afghan Red Crescent Society said in a statement on Saturday.

According to the statement, 173 houses, 900 acres of agricultural land, 14 mills, eight bridges, one restaurant, 13 shops, four power stations, four vehicles and two military bases along with the drinking water system and 3,200 fruit trees were destroyed in the devastating floods that swept through Kamdesh district of the province of a Wednesday night.

“The Afghanistan Red Crescent Society, the only organization with access to Kamdesh, is sending a mobile health team and will provide temporary shelter,” the UN said in a statement.

The statement added that the UN is negotiating with a non-state armed group to get access to the area and will provide medical supplies, food, and other relief items.

“Afghan authorities will mobilize additional support from Kabul,” the statement added.

Sources said on Thursday the area was under Taliban control.

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