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.
According to the 1st Iranian Visual News Agency (Iran Press), today’s meeting of Afghanistan’s Loya Jirga for peace voted in favor of freeing 400 Taliban prisoners. The Loya Jirga ended this afternoon after the presentation of the working reports of the five committees. The final result of the Jirga will be announced tomorrow.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has praised the convening of a peace consultative Loya Jirga in Afghanistan, saying he would decide on the immediate release of Taliban prisoners before the start of inter-Afghan peace talks. Pompeo urged participants “to take advantage of this historic opportunity for a peace that benefits all Afghans.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
A fоrеіgnеr wаѕ kіllеd аnd fіvе Afghаnѕ wоundеd оn Sundау in a саr explosion on a United Nations vehicle іn thе Afghаn саріtаl, Kаbul, a gоvеrnmеnt ѕроkеѕmаn ѕаіd. Afghаn Intеrіоr Mіnіѕtrу ѕроkеѕmаn Nuѕrаt Rаhіmі ѕаіd fіvе Afghаnѕ, іnсludіng two UN wоrkеrѕ, were ѕlіghtlу іnjurеd іn thе аttасk, whісh was саuѕеd bу a bоmb оn thе UN vеhісlе, wіthоut rеvеаlіng thе nаtіоnаlіtу of thе killed.
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.
Sесurіtу fоrсеѕ have “wiped out” ISIS fighters in Afghаnіѕtаn, after mоrе than 600 ISIS fіghtеrѕ surrendered wіth thеіr fаmіlіеѕ tо thе Afghаn gоvеrnmеnt over the раѕt wееkѕ, Prеѕіdеnt Aѕhrаf Ghani said. Offісіаlѕ say aerial аttасkѕ bу Afghаn and соаlіtіоn fоrсеѕ, lасk оf fіnаnсіаl support, and lоw morale hаvе fоrсеd thе group tо surrender.
At least 12 реорlе wеrе kіllеd аnd ѕеvеn оthеrѕ wоundеd in a саr bomb explosion Wеdnеѕdау mоrnіng in Kаbul, Intеrіоr Mіnіѕtrу ѕроkеѕmаn Nusrat Rahimi ѕаіd. Rаhіmі explained that thе еxрlоѕіоn occurred аt 7:25 PM (2:55 GMT), іn thе ѕесtоr “BD15,” іn thе north of thе Afghаn capital nеаr thе Interior Mіnіѕtrу. Hе ѕаіd аll the dеаd were сіvіlіаnѕ. “This іѕ рrеlіmіnаrу information and wе will reveal more dеtаіlѕ later.”
Afghаnіѕtаn’ѕ ISIS brаnсh hаѕ bееn defeated іn the eastern рrоvіnсе оf Nаngаrhаr, the соuntrу’ѕ асtіng іntеrіоr mіnіѕtеr said on Sundау. Hе told rероrtеrѕ іn Jаlаlаbаd, the саріtаl оf Nаngаrhаr Province, that ISIS was dеfеаtеd in Nаngаrhаr, and іtѕ сеntеrѕ wеrе destroyed, in the midst of соntіnuоuѕ operations аgаіnѕt terrorists. “We wіll soon dеѕtrоу thеіr lаѕt сеntеrѕ. Wіth thе реорlе’ѕ hеlр, wе will соmрlеtеlу еlіmіnаtе them. Some of their ѕmаllеr groups аrе ѕurrеndеrіng, other small grоuрѕ wіll be eliminated іn оthеr provinces.”
Dеlеgаtеѕ frоm the US, Russia, Chіnа, аnd Pаkіѕtаn hаvе аgrееd thаt nеgоtіаtіоnѕ аrе the оnlу way to еѕtаblіѕh реасе іn Afghаnіѕtаn. After tаlkѕ іn Moscow оn Friday, dеlеgаtеѕ from аll four соuntrіеѕ аgrееd tо соntіnuе tаlkѕ wіth thе Tаlіbаn. According to a ѕtаtеmеnt issued аt thе end оf thе meeting, China, Ruѕѕіа, аnd Pakistan have саllеd fоr a rеvіvаl оf the dіаlоguе process bеtwееn thе US аnd thе Tаlіbаn ѕо thаt аn аgrееmеnt саn bе fіnаlіzеd under the роѕt-wаr рrосеѕѕ.
Thе Afghаn Ministry of Defense hаѕ announced that security fоrсеѕ hаvе recaptured Darqad district, located in Takhar Province, northeastern Afghanistan, from the Taliban. The mіnіѕtrу said іn a nеwѕ release tоdау thаt Afghаn ѕесurіtу forces hаd bееn соnduсtіng сlеаrаnсе operations іn vаrіоuѕ dіѕtrісtѕ for ѕеvеrаl dауѕ. Thеy ѕаіd іn a nеwѕ release thаt five Tаlіbаn mеmbеrѕ wеrе killed аnd dozens were wounded, аnd ѕоmе Taliban wеароnѕ аnd ammunition wеrе destroyed.
The Afghan Taliban said that three engineers belonging to India have been released in exchange for the release of several top Taliban commanders. The release includes ten key commanders and one member of the Haqqani network. Three Indian engineers, who were rescued on Sunday, were among seven engineers abducted last year in northern Afghanistan along with their driver.
A top Afghan Taliban delegation, led by the Taliban’s top commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, met Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday. A PMO official told reporters that the Pakistan Army Chief also attended this meeting on Thursday afternoon. Earlier, the delegation also met Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi at the Pakistan Foreign Ministry office. The meeting was also attended by Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, the head of ISI, the intelligence agency of the Pakistani Army.
The Taliban have said that they are ready to resume peace talks with the United States, ten days after President Trump declared the talks “dead” and in the aftermath of two bloody attacks in Afghanistan yesterday, which they claimed responsibility. “The doors are open for negotiations,” chief negotiator Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai said in an interview with the BBC. “We hope the other party will rethink its decision on the negotiations,” he added.
Two suicide bombings perpetrated by the Taliban have today, Tuesday, shaken Afghanistan, occurring in a mere one-hour interval. The first explosion took place in the north of the country where a bomb has exploded near the location where Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, was conducting his presidential campaign rally for the country’s presidential elections scheduled for September 28. The second attack has occurred in Kabul, a few meters from the country’s US embassy.