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US to Deploy 300 Marines to Helmand to Help Afghan Forces

Ariana News

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(Last Updated On: April 19, 2017)

120210-M-MM918-002 U.S. Marines and Afghan border police off-load from a CH-53D Sea Stallion helicopter during Operation Shahem Tofan Eagle Storm in the Garmsir district, Helmand province, Afghanistan, on Feb. 10, 2012.  The Marines are assigned to Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment.  DoD photo by Cpl. Reece Lodder, U.S. Marine Corps.  (Released)Roughly 300 Marines are en route to Afghanistan to help Afghan troops stop the Taliban from swallowing more of the hard-fought territory for which so many Marines have bled and died, Marine Corps Times has learned.

The deployment of Marines from the II Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, will be the largest Marine deployment to Afghanistan since 2014, when the U.S. military’s combat mission known as Operation Enduring Freedom officially ended.

By the end of April, the Marines will be in Helmand province as Task Force Southwest, replacing the Army’s Task Force Forge. During their nine months in Helmand, the Marines will train the Afghan National Army’s 215th Corps and the 505th Zone National Police in marksmanship, indirect fire and small-unit tactics and other skills, Marine Corps officials said.

Helmand province is becoming increasingly dangerous for U.S. troops. In March, three American soldiers were shot at an Afghan military base in an apparent insider attack and in February, a Special Forces soldier was severely wounded in Sangin.

Afghanistan Ministry of Defense welcomes deploy of U.S. Forces in Helmand province of Afghanistan.

MoD spokesman, Dawlat Waziri said, “The U.S. troops will help in training fields, how to use the new arms and weapons. Their presence is very effective for us and they will assist us in any parts.”

Since most U.S. troops left Afghanistan three years ago, the Taliban have captured much of southern Afghanistan, including Sangin, where nearly 50 Marines have died in fighting through the years.

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Prison attack ends but Jalalabad city remains under total lockdown

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(Last Updated On: August 3, 2020)

Afghan security forces have brought the Jalalabad prison situation under control, but the streets of the city remain empty after a total lockdown was imposed. 

Residents were told earlier Monday to stay indoors and all shops were closed. 

The Afghan Army’s Chief of Staff Gen. Yasin Zia also arrived in the city late morning to lead the operation.

By Monday mid-afternoon the prison situation was under control and five attackers had been killed, officials confirmed. 

However, clearing operations were still underway in a shopping mall opposite the prison which another group of attackers had occupied. 

The gunbattle lasted 20 hours and started on Sunday evening when Daesh militants detonated a car bomb outside the gates of the city’s prison. 

An estimated 1,700 prisoners were being held in the facility at the time of the attack – many of the Daesh fighters. 

During the attack, hundreds of prisoners escaped but droves were rounded up by security forces who were forced to divert manpower to go after the escapees. 

Some prisoners who had been arrested told Ariana News that six attackers entered the prison and ordered them to leave. The prisoners were told that if they did not leave they would be killed by the assailants. 

A security source said that the prisoners who escaped include Taliban members, Daesh militants, and criminals.

The attack started just after 6.30 pm on Sunday night and continued through the night and into Monday. 

Nangarhar governor’s spokesman, Attaullah Khogyani, meanwhile said the death toll had risen by mid-afternoon to 30 and 50 wounded. 

He said the victims include prisoners, security forces and civilians. 

Zahir Adil, a spokesman for the provincial health directorate, told Ariana News that 13 of those wounded were in a critical condition. 

This attack started just a day after Afghanistan’s intelligence services announced the Afghan special forces had killed a high-ranking Daesh member in an operation in eastern Afghanistan.

A statement late Saturday by the National Directorate of Security said the slain militant was Assadullah Orakzai, an intelligence leader for the IS affiliate (Daesh) in Afghanistan. The statement said he was killed near Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province. IS has its headquarters in the province.

Orakzai was suspected of being involved in several deadly attacks against both military and civilian targets in Afghanistan.

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Hundreds of prisoners rounded up as Jalalabad prison attack continues

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(Last Updated On: August 3, 2020)

Almost eighteen hours into the Jalalabad prison attack, Afghan security forces are still trying to bring the situation under control and round up escaped prisoners. 

Officials have said that hundreds of prisoners who escaped during the attack have since been caught. 

Some prisoners who have been arrested told Ariana News that six attackers entered the prison and ordered them to leave. The prisoners were told that if they did not leave they would be killed by the assailants. 

A security source said that the prisoners who escaped include Taliban members, Daesh militants, and criminals.

The attack started just after 6.30 pm on Sunday night and has continued through the night and Monday morning. 

Daesh, which claimed responsibility, detonated a car bomb outside the prison on Sunday evening, blowing the gate open. Militants then stormed the facility.

In the ensuing gun battle, hundreds of prisoners escaped. 

It is believed, however, that Daesh militants took control of two prison towers earlier and that some prisoners have taken up arms and are fighting alongside the attackers. However, there has been no official confirmation of these reports. 

Nangarhar governor’s spokesman, Attaullah Khogyani, meanwhile said the death toll has risen to 21 and 43 wounded. 

He said the victims include prisoners, security forces, and civilians. 

Zahir Adil, a spokesman for the provincial health directorate, told Ariana News that 13 of those wounded are in a critical condition. 

This attack started just a day after Afghanistan’s intelligence services announced the Afghan special forces had killed a high-ranking Daesh member in an operation in eastern Afghanistan.

A statement late Saturday by the National Directorate of Security said the slain militant was Assadullah Orakzai, an intelligence leader for the IS affiliate (Daesh) in Afghanistan. The statement said he was killed near Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province. IS has its headquarters in the province.

Orakzai was suspected of being involved in several deadly attacks against both military and civilian targets in Afghanistan.

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Iran arrests pro-Taliban Afghans who waved group’s flag in park

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(Last Updated On: August 3, 2020)

Iranian authorities have arrested a group of Afghans who waved a flag in celebration of Eid al-Adha in a park in Tehran.

MENAFM reported that Iranian intelligence and police officials confirmed to local media outlets that the security forces arrested the group during an operation.

The officials also said that the individuals were arrested in connection with the publication of the pictures of the Taliban flag which they had taken in Mellat Park in Tehran.

The suspects are in police custody and an investigation is underway, officials told MENAFM.

The Iranian authorities reportedly acted to detain the Taliban supporters after the images shocked Iranians on social media.

This move comes after comments were made recently by some of Afghanistan’s Western allies that Iran was not doing enough to support the peace process.

However, Iran has been quick to reject these claims. 

On Saturday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani described peace in Afghanistan as peace and stability for the entire region.

He told Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in a telephone conversation that Iran had always stood by the people and government of Afghanistan with regards to peace and stability. 

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is determined to always deepen relations with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan based on historical and cultural common grounds and strengthening these relations by taking advantage of economic, trade and transit capacity between the two countries,” he said.

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