The Taliban-Afghan Government peace talks are set to begin soon after the Afghan assembly of leaders reached an agreement to release 400 hardcore Taliban prisoners. The continued jailing of the prisoners was a big obstacle in as far as the beginning of the peace talks between the two warring parties is concerned.
France announced that 1,695 new cases of new coronavirus have been confirmed in the last 24 hours. It became the highest daily total of infections in two months. In all, COVID-19 has killed more than 30,000 people in France, making it the third-largest in Europe, after Britain and Italy.
At least 36 people were killed in a major attack by the Islamic State (IS) terrorist militia on a prison in eastern Afghanistan. Another around 50 people were wounded in the hours of fighting in Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province, a provincial spokesman said on Monday.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has announced that he will not be releasing the remaining 400 Taliban prisoners. Ghani said he had no mandate to release them, revealing he will convene a meeting with the traditional council of elders to discuss a way forward. The meeting with the elders would take a much longer time hence delaying the peace talks further.
The Taliban has revealed that it will not carry out attacks in Afghanistan in honor of the Eid ul Adha holiday that begins this weekend. According to the group’s spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahed, the commanders have been ordered to stop military operations for the stipulated days.
Last week, Georgian soldiers arrived for the NATO peace keeping mission in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, within a week of arrival in Afghanistan, 28 Georgian soldiers were infected with the Coronavirus. The source of the virus appears to be from the Afghan personnel. The infected soldiers were sent home.
The Taliban have made significant changes in its leadership ahead of negotiations with Afghan leaders. The group has appointed Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob to head its military wing. The 30 year-old is the son of the Taliban’s most feared founder. It has also added four other members to the 20-member negotiating team.
At least four people were killed and nine others injured after several mortar shells fired by Pakistani troops hit a village at the border in the eastern part of Afghanistan. Pakistani authorities blamed the Afghan forces for initiating the attack a day earlier, adding that it was just retaliating.
At least 11 Afghan intelligence agency personnel were killed after the Taliban launched an attack at an intelligence compound in northern Afghanistan. It is alleged that a suicide bomber hit the compound, and was followed by two fighters who opened fire but were later killed.
Fourteen Afghan security forces were killed in an attack by Taliban militants on armed forces and police checkpoints in Kunduz province. In addition, more than 50 people were injured in a bombing in Aibak, the capital of northern Samangan province, in northern Afghanistan, news sources reported on Monday.
At least six people have been killed by a roadside bomb in Jaghatu district, eastern Afghanistan. An official who was traveling in the vehicle confirmed the incident. The spokesperson of the governor of Ghazni, Wahidullah Jamazada, said that eight people were wounded in the incident.
At least seven police officers have been killed and in two separate attacks in Afghanistan. In one of the attacks, in Southern Kandahar province, three officers were killed and 20 others injured. In the second attack, in Nangarhar province, a landmine blast claimed the lives of four police officers.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has said that Afghan military mistakenly fired the rockets at the busy cattle market in Helmand province that claimed 23 lives. The Afghan government and the Taliban had initially blamed each other, with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani calling it a terrorist attack.
At least 23 civilians were killed and dozens others injured in Helmand province, in Afghanistan, after rockets fell on a cattle market. The weekly open air market is usually busy and holds hundreds of villagers who come to trade. No group claimed responsibility for the attack.
News of the Russian military offering bounties to Afghan militant forces to take out American soldiers has caused a stir. It has pushed Congress to seek details on the matter. US President Donald Trump has, however, tweeted that it was a hoax aimed at discrediting his party.
At least six civilians were killed in a roadside bomb blast in the southern province of Helmand in Afghanistan. The country has continued to experience increased attacks that have claimed dozens of lives. Provincial police spokesman Zamad Hamdard, who confirmed the incident, said the attack left two other people injured.
Two members of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHCR) were killed in a bomb attack in Kabul as they headed to work. It is alleged that an explosive device planted in their vehicle. “It is intolerable,” IHCR said in a statement while confirming the incident.
The Russian intelligence service offered bounties to Taliban fighters to kill coalition forces, including US soldiers, in Afghanistan. The information is courtesy of U.S. officials who sought anonymity, as reported by the New York Times. The information has not been confirmed from an official team.
Despite plans for peace talks in Afghanistan, 841 Afghan security forces have been killed or wounded in the country in just one week. A total of 422 attacks were recorded in 32 provinces of Afghanistan, according to a report released by the Afghan National Security Council on Monday.
Nearly 80 million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes due to war and conflict, fear of terror and violence, as well as economic collapse and poverty. According to a recent report released by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Thursday, the number of refugees in the world has reached 79.5 million.
At least four people have been killed in a bomb attack at a mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan. Among the dead was a prayer leader, Azizullah Mofleh Frotan, one of the city’s most prominent mullahs. While confirming the incident, the Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said that the bomb was placed inside the mosque.
At least nine people have been killed and five others injured after a bus they were traveling in was struck by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province. According to the spokesperson for the provincial governor, all the passengers aboard the bus were civilians traveling from one district to another.
At least two people have been killed and two others wounded after a bomb exploded in a mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan. The bomb was planted inside Wazir Akbar Khan Mosque. The country’s Interior Ministry spokesperson, Tariq Arian, said that the bomb targeted worshipers who had gathered for the evening prayers at 7.25 PM local time.
An attack on a minibus that carried the employees of a local TV station in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, left a journalist and another employee dead. The authorities said the victims, who were employees of Khurshid TV, were traveling in the minibus when an improvised explosive device attached to the vehicle exploded.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for an explosive attack that hit a minibus Saturday, in which a troupe of 15 people of the Afghan broadcaster, Khurshid TV, were traveling in Kabul. Two people were killed— a journalist, Mir Wahed Shah and the technician Shafiq Amiri.
Dozens of people were killed in three separate attacks in Afghanistan. The Taliban has carried out a series of retaliatory attacks after President Ashraf Ghani’s recent order for resumption of offensive attacks on militant groups in the country. Ghani’s order came the very day that dozens of Afghan citizens were killed in separate attacks.
At least nine people have been killed and 40 others injured after an attack at an army base in Ghazni, in Afghanistan. The spokesperson for the provincial governor, Arif Noori, said that eight of the wounded were in critical condition. He added that they had been transferred to Kabul for specialized treatment.
At least five people have been killed and dozens injured in an attack in Afghanistan’s eastern Paktia province Thursday. It is alleged that an army base was the target for the attack, but the truck filled with explosives blew up before it reached its target. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was a retaliation to the government’s statement that blamed the group for the attacks on Tuesday.
The Afghan Ministry of Public Health says it has registered 414 positive cases of the coronavirus in the past 24 hours. This is the highest number of coronaviruses in Afghanistan since the outbreak. With these new cases, the number of people infected with the coronavirus in the country has exceeded 6,000.
At least 16, people including two newborn babies, were killed after gunmen attacked a hospital in Kabul on Tuesday. Shortly afterward, 24 people were killed and 68 others injured during a burial ceremony in Nangarhar Province. The interior ministry said that among the dead were mothers, nurses and infants, and around 100 people were rescued from the building.
Forty people, including mothers, nurses, and two newborns, were killed in an attack on a government hospital in Kabul. Fifteen other civilians were injured in the attack, according to the Afghan Interior Ministry, while about 100 people at the hospital were rescued. According to officials, Afghan security forces also killed three assailants involved in the operation after a clash that lasted for several hours.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced that the Afghan army would now conduct more offensive operations against the Taliban. A series of attacks Tuesday on Afghan security forces and civilians in Nangarhar and the Afghan capital, Kabul, killed at least 39 people and injured dozens.
On Sunday, Afghan officials accused Iran of torturing and drowning 38 migrants who were attempting to enter the country. The Foreign Ministry says they are investigating. “So far, five bodies have been transferred to the hospital, of these bodies, it’s clear that four died due to drowning,” Dr. Aref Jalali, head of Herat District Hospital, said.
Deputy United Nations Special Representative in Afghanistan, Toby Lanzer, traveled to Lashkar Gah with the help of the World Food Program, World Health Organization, International Organization for Migration and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.
At least 25 worshipers were killed and eight others were wounded when a lone ISIS gunman rampaged through a Sikh house of worship Wednesday in the Afghan capital, Kabul. The Afghan Interior Ministry reported that one of the dead was a child. The gunman is said to have held many worshipers hostage for several hours while Afghanistan Special forces, helped by international troops, tried to clear the building.
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Qatar to meet with Taliban leaders, for the first time since the signing of the historic ceasefire agreement with the fundamentalist group and perpetrator of terrorist attacks. Pompeo will “meet with Taliban officials, including Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, co-founder of the Taliban movement and its main negotiator, to ask them to continue to respect the agreement signed last month.”
Zalmay Khalilzad, the special envoy to the US State Department for Afghan Peace, said it was time for the Afghan government and the Taliban to begin releasing each other’s prisoners. Mr. Khalilzad wrote on his Twitter page Wednesday that the United States wants to release the prisoners as soon as possible, in accordance with their agreement with the Taliban.
The Afghan government has postponed the release of 1,500 Taliban prisoners, which could sabotage the peace agreement between the United States and the Taliban in Doha last month. According to Javed Faisal, spokesman for the Afghan National Security Office, a review of the list of prisoners is delaying the release of Taliban fighters.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has announced the release of 1,500 Taliban prisoners. The prisoners will be released to pursue peacekeeping with the Taliban. As per the order issued by the President, the process of releasing 1500 prisoners will be started on Saturday. The US has welcomed the initiative, while the Taliban have not yet responded.
The United States has begun to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. According to a statement by US Forces Afghanistan spokesman Col. Sonny Leggett, over the next 135 days, the number of US troops will be reduced to 8,600. At the same time, according to the statement, US forces will continue to participate in anti-terrorist operations against al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, as well as provide support to the Afghan security forces.
Only one day after the Taliban-U.S. Agreement was signed, there was controversy over the measures involved. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani told reporters Sunday that it is not obliged to release the 5,000 Taliban prisoners mentioned in the agreement before internal negotiations in Afghanistan begin.
The United States and the Taliban signed a historic peace agreement in Doha, Qatar Saturday, which opens the door to the total military withdrawal of Americans from Afghanistan after 18 years of war. As per the signed agreement, the U.S. would withdraw forces down to 8,600, from 13,000, with remaining troops withdrawing in 14 months.
Iran became the country with the second-highest number of deaths caused by the new coronavirus Sunday. Iran currently has eight recorded deaths, the most outside China. The situation has led some of its neighboring countries to close their borders, or ban travel to Iran altogether, in fear of the spread of the deadly disease.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Friday that the Trump administration and the Taliban will sign a peace deal on February 29. “This is an important step on a long road to peace,” Pompeo tweeted, “and I call on all Afghans to seize this opportunity.” The two sides announced almost simultaneously that they would sign the agreement after more than a year of negotiations in Qatar.
According to a statement released by the British Home Office, 102 immigrants were detained on Friday crossing the British Channel to the UK. As a result, the number of those arrested in the last two days has reached about 192. Many of those arrested said they were Iranian citizens. Some have come from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, and Iraq.
According to the Pakistani foreign minister, Afghan Taliban insurgents are ready to reduce violence in Afghanistan. Shah Mehmood Qureshi called the Taliban’s acceptance of curtailment of violent operations a positive step toward peace in the region. The issue has not yet been formally endorsed by the Taliban, and the Pakistani foreign minister has not released further details.
At least еіght роlісеmеn wеrе kіllеd іn a Taliban attack оn ѕесurіtу posts in the сеntrаl рrоvіnсе оf Daykundi, оffісіаlѕ said оn Sunday. Offісіаlѕ ѕаіd about thrее tо fоur реорlе wеrе wоundеd іn the аttасkѕ іn thе Kіjrаn dіѕtrісt оf thе province аt аrоund 1 аm lосаl tіmе (2030 GMT). “About 200 Tаlіbаn mіlіtаntѕ lаunсhеd a сооrdіnаtеd attack оn security сеntеrѕ оvеrnіght,” dерutу рrоvіnсіаl governor, Dr. Mohammad Ali Oruzgani, and twо рrоvіnсіаl соunсіl mеmbеrѕ, Haji Jаіrаt аnd Suhrab Alі Atmаdі, tоld reporters.