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Afghan forces arrest three key members of Taliban group

Monitoring Desk

PAKTIA: Afghan National Defense and security forces arrested three important members of Taliban group during an operation in Paktia province of Afghanistan.

According to statement of Ministry of Interior (MoI) , the Taliban fighters were arrested in Zeruk district of Paktia. It added that three senior Taliban members were arrested during the operation.

One vehicle, arms and ammunition were also recovered from their possession.

Statement added that the group was the main planner and organizer of terrorist and destructive activities, armed assault and explosions in different parts of Paktika province.”

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Taliban kill 5 Afghan police in Kandahar

Monitoring Desk

KANDAHAR: Taliban gunmen killed five Afghan police and wounded another in southern Kandahar province, sources said Tuesday.

The Taliban fighters attacked a security post in Talwakan area of Panjwayee district, killing five police and wounding another, informed sources told AIP.

The source said the Taliban retreated upon arrival of the police reinforcement in the area, adding the Taliban fighters used laser weapons in the attack.

Taliban spokesman Qari M. Yousaf Ahmadi asserted responsibility for the attack, saying said nine local police were killed and numerous weapons and ammunition were seized by the Taliban.

He confirmed that the Taliban used heavy and laser weapons in the attack.

 

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NDS arrest alleged planner of attacks

Monitoring Desk

HERAT: The personnel of National Directorate of Security (NDS) detained an alleged planner of mosque attacks in western Herat province, officials said Tuesday.

The alleged mastermind of attacks on mosques was detained by the NDS personnel in the limits of 2nd police district of Herat city on Tuesday, said Jilani Farhad, spokesman of Herat governor.

He said the detained man had direct involvement in suicide attacks including the one on worshipers in the Daulina district, Ghor province, last year that left 36 people dead and several other wounded. Though Daesh had asserted responsibility for the mosque attack, the gubernatorial spokesman did not disclose if the detained person was the member of Daesh or not.

Manwhile, Taliban gunmen carried out attacks on Afghan security forces’ posts on Gulistan, Pusht-e-Rod and Farah districts of neighbouring Farah province, said Gulbahar Mujahid, security chief of Farah police.

He said he said two Taliban were killed and a cop wounded in the Farah clash while there was no casualties from Gultan and Pusht-e-Rod clashes.

 

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Displaced families demand shelter

Monitoring Desk

KUNDUZ: Thousands of families displaced by clashes and insecurity in Badakshan province over the past two years have asked the government and relief agencies to provide them shelter.

Daulat Khawar, administrator of troubled Worduj district, told Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) that a large number of families who moved to Baharak district were living under the open sky and their children were suffering from different cold-related diseases.

He said tents were provided to some of the Worduj displaced families only once in the past two years. He feared that children might lose their lives if the winter becomes harsher.

Abdul Wahid Tayyabi, director Badakhshan refugees’ affairs, told Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) that more than 6000 displaced families were registered with them over the past two years.

He said some of the displaced families returned to their respective areas on improvement in security situation while 5000 were still displaced.

He said aid was provided to 1900 families with the cooperation of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), adding hundreds of families were living in miserable condition in the limits of 6th police districts of Faizabad.

He hoped that the government and non-governmental organizations would provide shelter to the displaced families.

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a latest report that around 450,000 families were displaced in Afghanistan in 2017.

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Airstrikes leave 3 IS militants dead

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: At least three militants affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group were killed in airstrikes conducted in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan.

The 201st Silab Corps in the East said the airstrikes were carried out in the vicinity of Suki district.

According to Silab Corps, a Dshk heavy machine gun, a PKM machine, and a rocket launcher belonging to the terrorists were also destroyed in the airstrike.

The anti-government armed militant groups including the ISIS militants have not commented regarding the report so far.

This comes as the 201st Silab Corps of the Afghan army in the East said Monday that the ISIS militants launched a coordinated attack on public uprising and Afghan local Police forces in Suki district.

A statement by the Silab Corps said the Afghan armed forces launched artillery and airstrikes in response to the ISIS attacks in Deriwa Gul valley.

The statement further added that twelve ISIS militants were killed and around thirty others were wounded during the operations.

Kunar is among the relatively volatile provinces in East of Afghanistan where the anti-government armed militants including the Taliban and ISIS insurgents are actively operating in some of its and often carry out insurgency activities.

 

 

 

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118 militants killed in a month of Nangarhar raids

Monitoring Desk

JALALABAD: Security officials on Tuesday announced killing 118 militants and wounding 77 others during a month of a clearing operation in eastern Nangarhar province.

The operation was conducted in Khogyani, Haska Mena, Momand Dara and Ghanikhel districts, said Brig. Gen. M. Naseem Sangin, the Afghan National Army’s Selab Military’s Corps fourth brigade commander.

He told a press conference here that 52 Daesh or Islamic State militants were killed, 59 wounded and seven others surrendered to security forces in Khogyani district during the “Selab 4 Operation.”

In Hasak Mena, he said, 63 IS fighters had been killed and 18 others wounded in Afghan Special Forces raids supported by foreign air forces. Three Taliban insurgents were killed by Special Forces in Ghanikhel and Momand Dara districts.

Sangin added 43 various landmines were detected and defused during the offensive and 10 others exploded on security forces.

The high-ranking security official also confirmed casualties among the security forces, but provided no figures.

Brig. Gen. Mohammad Ayub Hussainkhel, 301st zone commander in the east, said the operation also involved border police, public order police, NDS personnel led by Afghan National Army.

He informed border police problems had been on the decrease since the Defense Minister took their command from the Interior Ministry two months ago.

Police spokesman Abdul Jamil said civilians were protecting areas which had been cleared of militants. He said more security posts should be established in the cleared areas.

Public Order Police commander Brig. Gen. Naseer Ahmad Safi told the press conference that Daesh presence had reduced and the group could not stand ground.

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Gilani rejects allegation suggesting he attempts to free Anas Haqqani

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: The leader of Afghanistan Mahaz party Syed Hamid Gilani on Tuesday rejected the allegations against him suggesting that he is attempting to free the Haqqani network’s key leader Anas Haqqani.

Speaking to reporters he said the allegations against him regarding the attempts for the freedom of Anas Haqqani are baseless. Gilani further added that all those who have detained in connection to any crime must face trial and no one can be called a criminal until he is convicted by a court. He also refrained from further remarks regarding his recent claims suggesting that the Taliban leadership is based in Afghanistan. His earlier remarks sparked furor both the Afghan officials as well as the Afghan people with the ex-intelligence chief Nabil accusing him of having close links with the Haqqani network.

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Seven US soldiers killed in Nangarhar Province in last year

Monitoring Desk

NANGARHAR: At least seven US soldiers were killed in Nangarhar province of Afghanistan last year and it proved to be the deadliest area for US forces in the world.

US forces and warplanes conducted hundreds of strikes and ground operation in the Nangarhar province and it is one of the few places Americans have been routinely accompanying Afghan forces into battle.

Last year 21 soldiers were killed battling in different parts of the world including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Niger and seven of them were killed in Nangarhar province last year and in the current year US military sustained its first death of the new year during operation in Achin district of Nangarhar.

There are around 14,000 US troops in the country this year, up from 11,000 through much of 2017.

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DAB: Afghani losing value due to political tension

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: The Afghanistan Central Bank on Monday said its foreign exchange reserves had increased by $500,000 but the Afghanistan currency continued to lose value due to ‘political tensions’ in the country.

One US dollar was sold for 66 afghanis in January last year but today (Monday), one US dollar is sold for 70.30 afghanis.

Khalil Seddiq, head of Afghanistan Central Bank or Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB), told a meeting here that political tensions had ‘80 percent’ role and increase in government expenditures 20 percent role in the loss of afghani’s value. He did not explain the political tensions, but called for their solution as soon as possible otherwise the economic situation of the country would be affected.

Tension between President Ashraf Ghani and Balkh governor Atta Mohammad Noor surfaced in late December, 2017 when Noor was replaced with Eng. Mohammad Daud as new governor of the province.

However, Noor, also the executive chief of Jamiat-I-Islami, refused to quit his job. Negotiations are currently ongoing between Jamiat-I-Islami and the government on the matter.

First vice-president, Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, who has been in Turkey, was recently denied entry into Afghanistan for a second time by the government, further fueling the tension. The DAB head said that the bank offered $462 million to the market since December to boost the afghani currency value against foreign currencies.

“It is not DAB’s goal to determine currency rates in the market, we are following the open market policy based on the Constitution, it means that the performance of the market determines the currency rate,” he said.

He said the central bank last year had good achievement as it increased the foreign exchange reserves by half a billion US dollars and currently the country’s currency reserves stood at more than $8 billion.

Seddiq said the inflation rate had been 3.08 in Afghanistan last fiscal year, far down compared to neighboring countries. The inflation rate in Pakistan was 4.6, in Iran 9.6, in India 4.8 and in Turkey 11.8 last year, he said.

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20 dead, injured in Kunduz operation

Monitoring Desk

KUNDUZ: Fourteen Taliban gunmen among 20 people were killed and wounded during operation in Kunduz’s Khanaba district, Afghan Army said Monday.

A clash took place between security forces and Taliban during operation in the Khanabad district wherein 10 Taliban were killed and four more wounded, said Ghulam Hazrat Karimi, spokesman of Afghan National Army (ANA) 20th Pameer Division in Kunduz.

He said the Taliban left behind bodies of their four fighters, adding the operation was launched in the Eshan Toop, Zard Kamar and Joyee Kohna areas of the Khanabad district two days ago.

He would not disclose if there were any casualties to security forces an nom-combatants.

Security sources, however, said a security man was killed and two more wounded in the Khanabad clashes.

Local residents said three civilians also sustained injuries and several houses were destroyed during the operation.

A press release issued by interior ministry said a Taliban commander, Maulvi Sher Agha, was also detained.

There was no word by Taliban in this regard.

The areas where the operation was launched located near the Kunduz Airport and in the control of Taliban for the last several years.