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ANA foils 29 blasts after defusing dozens of IEDs

URUZGAN: At least 29 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were defused by the Afghan National Army (ANA) in multiple operation carried in Uruzgan and Kandahar provinces, said the Ministry of Defense in a statement Monday.

According to the statement, “lives of tens of civilians were saved” after a successful operation that foiled a possible blats throughout the provinces.

“29 #IEDs were discovered and defused by #ANA in Urzgan and Kandahar provinces, last night.,” said the MoD in a tweet.

While security officials hold the Taliban insurgents accountable for attempted attacks, the group did not immediately comment on the claim.

“The IEDs were placed by #Taliban on public roads to kill civilians in Zheria, Maiwand and Gizab districts,” the tweet added. “Lives of tens of civilians were saved as a result.”

Meanwhile, at least nine Taliban were killed and further six wounded during an operation carried by Afghan National Army (ANA) in Gizab district of Uruzgan province, said the Ministry of Defense.

“9 Taliban were killed and 6 others were wounded in Gizab district of Urzgan province, yesterday,” teh MoD said in a tweet. “Also, 4 strongholds of them were destroyed during reciprocal attacks of Afghan National Army (ANA).” (Khaama Press)

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Afghan forces kill Taliban mastermind of army base attack

KABUL: Afghan forces have killed the Taliban mastermind of a suicide car bomb attack that left at least 30 security personnel dead, officials said Monday. Hamza Waziristani was killed in an airstrike overnight in the eastern province of Ghazni where the bomber struck an Afghan military base on Sunday.

“The mastermind behind yesterday’s terrorist attack on the (Ghazni) base was killed along with seven other terrorists,” the defence ministry said in a statement on Monday.

Ministry spokesman Fawad Aman told AFP that Waziristani was a Taliban militant from the border region of Waziristan.  The attack was one of the deadliest in months targeting government forces in Afghanistan, where violence has surged since the start of peace talks between President Ashraf Ghani’s administration and the Taliban in Qatar. No group has claimed the attack.

The Taliban often do not comment on deadly attacks they are accused of carrying out. The insurgents have launched near daily attacks against Afghan forces, primarily in rural areas, since signing a deal with Washington in February that paved the way for the withdrawal of foreign troops by May 2021.

Health officials in Ghazni said 30 people died in Sunday’s attack, but the defence ministry — which is known to downplay tolls in attacks against its forces — said 10 were killed.

Violence has also surged in Kabul in recent weeks, with more than 50 people killed in two assaults on educational centres and a rocket attack.

The three Kabul attacks were claimed by the Islamic State group, but Afghan officials blamed the Taliban — who denied any involvement. (AFP)

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Afghan air raids on Taliban fighters kill 3

MAIDAN SHAR: Airstrikes against militants have killed three insurgents and thwarted Taliban fighters’ design to target security checkpoints in Sayed Abad district of the eastern Wardak province, said an army statement released here Monday.

A group of Taliban militants were gathered in Salar area of Sayed Abad district on Sunday night to storm security checkpoints, but the fighting planes in pre-emptive action targeted the gathering and killed three militants, forcing the rest to flee, the statement added.

The Taliban preparation to target security checkpoints in the restive district has been foiled, the statement further said.

Taliban militants, who according to security officials have intensified activities, have yet to make comment on the report. (Xinhua)

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Russia chides Australia over Afghan war crimes

KABUL: Allegations of war crimes in Afghanistan have bruised Australia’s international image, believes Moscow.

At least 39 Afghan civilians were killed by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan, found an inquiry into the allegations. The soldiers may be dismissed.

A spokeswoman for the foreign ministry in Moscow claimed the Australian soldiers accused of murdering civilians might not be brought to justice.

The Australian Associated Press quoted Maria Zakharova as saying the incident raised questions about Australia’s commitment to protecting a rules-based world order.

Earlier in the week, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian shared an image of alleged Australian war crimes in Afghanistan.

The image, purporting to show a special forces soldier slitting the throat of an Afghan child, was captioned: “Don’t be afraid, we are coming to bring you peace.”

Angered by what was called a doctored image, Australian Prime Minister Morrison denounced the image as utterly outrageous. (Pajhwok)

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Senior ANA officer killed in Badghis attack

HERAT CITY: A senior Afghan National Army (ANA) officer has been killed and four others have been wounded as a result of a mortar attack in western Badghis province.

A security official based in the province identified the slain officer as Lt. Col. Abdul Basir Nuristani, chief of staff to the 3rd ANA brigade.

The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Pajhwok Afghan News Nuristani was killed in Bala Murghab district on Sunday evening when the mortar shell hit a military camp there.

Naeemuddin Burhani, the governor’s spokesman, confirmed the killing of Nuristan. Several security guards of the ANA official were injured, he said.

Elsewhere, one ANA soldier was killed and four others were wounded when unidentified motorcyclists opened fire at a pick-up in the 12th police district of Herat City, said police spokesman Abdul Ahad Walizada. Dr. Ibrahim Mohammadi, head of the Herat ambulance service, said the victims were evacuated to civil hospital.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. (Pajhwok)

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Parliament approves 6 ministers, NDS Chief

KABUL: The Afghan parliament on Monday approved the candidates for six ministries and the chief of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), and voted against the confirmation of the nominees for the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Ministry of Information and Culture.

In Monday’s session, 244 out of 248 lawmakers were present and the nominees needed 123 votes to be approved.

Ahmad Zia Saraj was approved as head of the National Directorate of Security with 220 votes in favor, Haroon Chakhansuri as minister of Mines and Petroleum with 154 votes, Anwar ul-Haq Ahadi as minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock with 189 votes, Noor Rahman Akhlaqi as minister of Refugees and Repatriation with 165 votes, Qudratullah Zaki as minister of Transport and Civil Aviation with 165 votes, Mahmud Karzai as minister of Urban Development and Housing with 154 votes and Najibullah Yamin as minister of Public Works with 149 votes.

Tahir Zuhair, the nominee for the Ministry of Information and Culture, was denied confirmation having received only 78 votes in favor, and Hasina Safi, nominee for the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, came up short with 119 votes and thus was not approved by the Afghan parliament.

The parliament speaker Mir Rahman Rahmani has asked President Ghani to introduce two new nominees for the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and of Information and Culture, respectively. (TOLOnews)

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President assures military commanders of full support

KABUL (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani, during a telephonic conversation, has assured security officials of stout support, a statement from the Presidential Palace said on Sunday.

On Sunday morning, the statement said. Ghani talked to five officers of the armed forces fighting in the frontline against the menace of terrorism.

The commander-in-chief said the purpose of his telephonic contact with the top military officers was to assure them of solid support from the nation, government. He said the commander-in-chief was proud of them.

In response to the president’s gesture, the military officers said that highways had been reopened, most areas cleared and fighting was ongoing to retake other areas from the rebels.

They assured the president of defending their motherland because it was their homeland and they would protect every inch of it.

The president, lauding their services, said: “By hearing you, the level of my confidence has gone up. The entire nation and government is proud of their armed forces and stood by them like a rock.”

TOLOnews adds: In an online conversation with the members of the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces (ANDSF) serving on the frontlines in volatile regions of the country, Afghanistan’s president Ashraf Ghani on Saturday said that the Afghan nation fully supports the armed forces.

The Presidential Palace in a statement said that in the virtual conversation the president thanked the ANDSF for their making sacrifices for the defense of the nation against threats.

Meanwhile, At least seven people were wounded in two separate magnetic IED blasts in Kabul city on Saturday morning, Kabul police confirmed.

The first blast occurred around 7:10am local time in the Khair Khana area in PD11 of Kabul city from a magnetic IED placed on a Land Cruiser. Four people were wounded, Kabul police said.

“You (ANDSF) repulsed the enemy attacks and still stand firmly, I wanted to thank you and assure you that the entire government and the entire nation support you,” said Ghani.

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Only peace can resolve our problems: War victim

KUNDUZ CITY (Pajhwok): Nasreen, 21, has been looking after two families after her father and uncle were killed in the on-going war.

Nasreen, a resident of Kunduz City, the capital of northern Kunduz province, said after the killing of her father and uncle, she has been bearing the responsibility to provide food and other needed things to the families.

During an exclusive interview, she told Pajhwok Afghan News her father, Wahab, served as head of police mobile team.

She said last year her father was killed by another policeman and the killer joined the Taliban.

“When my father died, our problems multiplied but until my uncle was alive, we did not face many difficulties.”

She said in March this year her uncle was killed in a fire-fight with the Taliban.

“My father has two wives, I have five brothers and three sisters and my uncle also has five children,” she said.

Nasreen said she was responsible for feeding the two families as she worked hard to earn food for them.

She said: “I was student when my father and uncle were killed. I left study and currently work as a teacher at a educational centre. I get 6,000 afs salary but we are a family of 17 people. This salary is insufficient.” She said local residents and some well-off people also provided assistance to her.
She said after the killing of her father and uncle, all her dreams were shattered and currently she was trying hard to resolve economic problems of the two families.

She asked the Taliban and the government to reconcile because in Afghanistan was home to a large number of widows and orphans.

She believed that only establishment of peace could resolve her and he
r family’s problems.

She asked the government to support families of martyred security families economically and educationally.

AmruddinWalli, the Provincial Council member, said that some families of war victims were in terrible condition.

“Wahab Khan was a strong commander but now his family is faced with problems, the government should provide multi-dimensional support to them.”

Governor Spokesperson Esmatullah Muradi acknowledged that Wahab Khan’s family was among thousands of families who were victims of war.

Muradi said the government leadership often tried to ensure ceasefire and durable peace in the country. He said the government was trying to provide assistance to all families of war victims.

The four decades-old conflict in Afghanistan has affected almost every family and people continue to give sacrifices but there is no hope when conflict will come to an end.

This report has been produced by Pajhwok and financially supported by UNDP.

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1260 enrollees to server alongside ANA after training

KABUL (Khaama Press): At least 1260 soldiers have joined the school for Afghan National Army Commando Corps to serve Afghanistan in the frontline against terrorism after graduation, said the Ministry of Defense in a statement Saturday night.

According to the statement, the newly enrolled officers will be standing alongside the Afghan commando forces after completing a series of military training.

“1260 soldiers and officers have joined the commando school and will receive advanced military training,” said MoD in a tweet.

“They will be added to commando forces after they have received commando military training in order to defend our land and people.”

Previously, some 360 Afghan National Army (ANA) took oath of allegiance to fight terrorists “till their last breath”, said the Ministry of Defense Monday morning, deploying them in north battle against the known Taliban insurgents.

According to the authorities, these soldiers will be deployed in Northern provinces, including Balkh and Takhar, where security threats are at its peak.

This came amid a widespread concern over a rising insecurity that has targeted locals and civilians in northern provinces – mainly Balkh and Takhar, where reportedly several districts are under severe influences of the Taliban.

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Ghani meets Abdullah

KABUL (Agencies): President Ashraf Ghani met with Dr. Abdullah Abdullah Chairman HCNR, Hamid Karzai and Ustad Abdul Rab Rassoul Sayyaf former Jihadi leader at the Presidential Palace on Sunday.

Presidential Palace by releasing a statement, during the meeting both sides discussed peace process, structure of High Council for National Reconciliation and preparations for the first meeting of High Council for National Reconciliation leadership committee.