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Miller picked to take charge of war in Afghanistan

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: A special operations officer has been chosen to lead US and coalition forces in Afghanistan, international media outlets reported on Wednesday.

The head of the Joint Special Operations Command has been picked to lead the war, according to Reuters. The three-star general, Scott Miller, would replace Gen. John Nicholson.

Gen. Miller will be the ninth US general in 17 years to take charge of the war in Afghanistan and the first to be appointed under President Donald Trump, says the Associated Press.

Miller has led some of America’s most-secretive missions against suspected terrorists around the globe. Drones and elite units including the Army’s Delta Force and the Navy’s SEAL Team Six have played a key role in this warfare.

Having served in Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq, Miller is expected to head a mission that is heavily dependent on American special-operations forces.

The Department of Defence refused to comment on Nicholson’s replacement. “We have no announcement on any changes,” Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner told Reuters.

On Monday, a US government watchdog said there had been few signs of progress by Afghan security forces between January and March, despite assertions that Taliban had been weakened.

 

 

 

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Senators worried about Ghazni security situation

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Some Meshrano Jirga or upper house members expressed concern over the security situation in southern Ghanzi province and urged the Independent Election Commission to extend the voter registration deadline in districts.

Recently Taliban militants attacked Jaghatu, Deh Yak and Qarabagh districts, killing 12 policemen including a unit commander.

The Taliban insurgents claimed taking control of Deh Yak district, but security forces rejected the claim.

The security situation in a number of provinces particularly Ghazni were discussed at upper house session.

Senator Mohammad Rahim Hussanyar from Ghazni province said the Jaghatu district had been overrun and Ajristan and Deh Yak districts were on the verge of collapse.

He warned if no attention was paid, the provincial capital, Ghazni City, along with some districts might fall into the hands of Taliban soon.

A number of others senators expressed similar views about the security situation of Ghazni province and urged security organizations to take measures.

Senate Chairman Fazl Hadi Muslimyar also expressed concern over the security situation across the country and urged security officials to dispatch reinforcements to areas under threat.

He also complained about the NATO mission and said they should support the Afghan security forces besides providing equipment and training.

Voter registration in provincial capitals and districts

According to IEC information, the voter registration drive will complete in two phases — first in cities and the second phase in districts centers and villages.

However, the IEC extended the voter registration deadline for a month both in districts and provinces.

But the upper house demanded one month more extension in the voter registration deadline in provincial capitals and districts.

Senator Mir Hatam Tarakhel from eastern Laghman province told session if the voter registration process was not extended, a large number of people would be missed out.

Muslimyar also made the same demand from IEC.

In more than a month, above 2.3 million people have registered themselves across the country to vote in Oct 20 Wolesi Jirga and district council elections, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) said Monday.

 

 

 

 

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Taliban seize police post, kill 2 cops in Helmand

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Taliban gunmen seized a police post and killed two cops after an attack in the outskirts of Lashkargah, capital of Helmand province, sources said Wednesday.

The Taliban fighters swarmed the police post in Sara Godar area of Laghkargah, capturing the post, informed sources told AIP.

Helmand police confirmed the death of two cops with injuries to three others but denied the fall of the post to Taliban.

Taliban spokesman Qari Muhammad Yousaf Ahmadi, however, claimed their fighters seized the post and killed five cops. He said the Taliban also captured arms and ammunition.

 

 

 

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Kidnapped member of TAPI project survey team found dead

Monitoring Desk

KANDAHAR: A member of the Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India Pipeline (TAPI) or Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline project’s survey team kidnapped by gunmen after killing his five colleagues in the Maiwand district of Kandahar province two days ago was found dead, officials said Wednesday.

Unidentified gunmen attacked and killed five members of a team conducting survey for TAPI pipeline in Maiwand district and kidnapped another on May 21.

Muhammad Daud Ahmadi, spokesman of Kandahar governor, told Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) that the body of the kidnapped member of survey team was found at the side of Maiwand road.

Police chief of Kandahar province had said that time that the victims were working for AMDC de-mining company hired to clear mines for the pipeline.

Taliban spokesman Qari Muhammad Yousaf Ahmadi denied Taliban involvement in the incident saying they were conducting investigations in this regard.

 

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Women make half of 8000 fresh Nuristan voters

Monitoring Desk

JALALABAD: Women make almost half of 8,000 people who have so far registered themselves as voters in eastern Nuristan province, officials said.

Baz Mohammad Nuristani, Independent Election Commission (IEC) head for Nuristan, told Pajhwok Afghan News most of the women registering as voters hailed from capital Paroon and nearby districts.

“Since the beginning of registration process until now, some 7,709 people have registered, with women constituting 45 percent of them.”

He recalled in the past, women’s participation in electoral process had been low because most of the women previously lacked paper national ID card or Tazkera.

Nuristan women’s affairs director Zaheda Faizan in the past most women had been without ID cards but now their interest in getting Tazkera and to register as voter had increased.

“There is no hurdle to women to register as voters at registration centers of Paroon and adjourning districts”, she added. Faizan said her department also worked for creating voter awareness and women were asked to register as voters.

Provincial Council (PC) head Eng. Saeedullah Nuristani told Pajhwok Afghan News that little work had been done so far in the area of voter awareness in Nuristan.

In the beginning, people were unaware why stickers were attached to their Tazkera, but later the process got momentum as potential candidates surfaced.

Gulalai, a resident of Nuristan, alleged lawmakers from her province had never done good to the province. She said she would vote for a candidate who could serve the people of Nuraistan and women.

In more than a month, above 2.3 million people registered themselves across the country to vote in Oct 20 Wolesi Jirga and district council elections, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) said Monday.

The voter registration process for the upcoming elections has been ongoing since April 14 and the commission has accelerated its efforts at holding free, fair and transparent polls.

According to the IEC information, the voter registration drive would be completed in two phases — first in cities and the second phase in districts centers and villages.

However, the IEC extended the voter registration deadline for another month both in districts and provinces.

 

 

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13 held at Herat airport with 738 heroin-filled capsules

Monitoring Desk

HERAT: Police foiled a smuggling bid at Herat International Airport and seized eight kg of heroin capsules swallowed by 13 India bound passengers, they said Wednesday.

Acting on prior information, police intercepted 13 passengers for swallowing 738 heroin filled capsule—weighing eight kg—and trying to smuggle it India, Aminullah Amarkhil, police chief of Herat province, told presser. He said the alleged smugglers were hailing from Farah, Ghor and province.

  1. Naser Neknam, commander of the airport, also spoke to the press conference, saying 17 persons who had swallowed heroin-filled capsules were held over the past one month. Meanwhile, deputy appellate attorney of Herat, Gul Ahmad Ramish, said 42 cases of smuggling were presented to the attorney office in which most of the accused were introduced to the appellate court.

According to Herat counter narcotics police, 46 operations were conducted over the past three months in Herat in which 48 alleged smugglers were arrested and hundreds of kg of narcotics were recovered.

 

 

 

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Hakimi, CSTC-A commander discuss security forces financing related matters

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Finance Minister Eklil Hakimi has held a meeting with Gen. Robin Fontes, commander of the Combined Security Transaction Command for Afghanistan and discussed issues related to the financing of security forces, a statement from the Ministry of Finance (MoF) said on Tuesday.

Both sides discussed participating in Afghan National Army Trust Fund in NATO Headquarter- Brussels on behalf of Government, Oversight Coordination Board (OCB) meeting, and government’s part in financing and equipping security and defense forces of the country.

Anti-corruption strategy, reforms and management of security agencies especially ministries of defiance and interior affairs and transparency in salary payment of security forces, were also discussed during the meeting, the statement said.

Moreover, in the meeting, Minister of Finance and commander CSTC-A, talked about parliamentary and provincial council election, peace process, reform in revenue sources, regional connectivity and some other relevant subjects.

 

 

 

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Report regarding Farah war present to Ghani

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: The security officials have presented a report regarding the Farah after their return from a visit to the province following the Taliban attack on the provincial capital.

The Office of the President, ARG Palace said the report regarding the Farah was presented by the security officials during a meeting of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces chaired by President Ghani.

Without disclosing further information regarding the report, the ARG Palace added that the security officials also briefed the meeting regarding the security of Faryab, Baghlan, Jawzjan, Kunduz, Badakhshan, Paktia, Paktika, Ghazni, Uruzgan, Zabul, Helmnd, Farah, Ghor, Balkh and Badghis provinces.

President Ghani issued necessary instructions to thwart the enemy movements and improve the security of the named provinces.

The Afghan Defense Minister Gen. Tariq Shah Bahrami says the growing violence and recent war in western Farah province have links with issues surrounding the management of water resources. Gen. Bahrami made the remarks during a visit to Farah province on Saturday where he was accompanied by other senior security officials including the commander of the NATO Resolute Support Mission Gen. John Nicholson.

He did not elaborate further in this regard but added that around twenty terrorist group are operating in Afghanistan and are being supported by the neighboring countries.

 

 

 

 

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13 security men dead in Taliban fresh attacks

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Two officers among 13 Afghan security men were killed and numerous others wounded as Taliban launched fresh attacks in two districts of Ghazni province, officials confirmed Tuesday.

Earlier, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AIP that their fighters seized the Jaghato and Deh Yak district centres and all its security outposts. He claimed that district police chief, Faiz, among 15 cops were killed in Deh Yak district while 18 police were killed and district police chief wounded in the Jaghato clash.

The Taliban spokesman said, Taliban attacked an outpost in the Spanda area of Ghazni City, killing five police including commander of the post, Barakat, and also targeted reinforcement troops.

Sources in Ghazni confirmed that police chief of Deh Yak district, Faiz Muhammad Tofan, commander of reserve unity Barakatullah and several other troops were killed during a direct clash with Taliban.

He said fighting continued in the two districts.

Muhammad Arif Noori, spokesman of Ghazni governor, confirmed the death of 13 security men including the two commanders with injuries to 15 others.

The Taliban carried out attacks in the centres of Deh Yak and Jaghto district and also attackd security posts in Toghi and Spandi areas, outskirts of Ghazni city.

District police chief Faizullah Topan and five cops were killed in Deh Yak district and four troops killed Jaghato district, he said, adding commander of reserve unit Barkatullah among three cops wounded in the limits of Ghazni city.

According to Noori, the clashes also left 15 security men wounded. He said there were also casualties to Taliban but they had no accurate details.

He said the security forces conducting operation to control the fighting. He, however, rejected the Taliban claim of capturing the two districts.

The Taliban entered the compounds of district and police headquarters but soon retreated. Arif, member of parliament from Ghazni, said in Facebook post that the police headquarters of Jaghato district was in the control of Taliban while aircrafts were targeting Taliban.

The Taliban had also briefly seized the Jaghato district May 16 but retreated as result of security forces operation.

As part of spring offensive “Al-Khandaq”, Taliban also conducted attacks in the centres of Ajeristan, Andar, Deh Yak, Giro and Ghazni districts recently, capturing numerous areas.

 

 

 

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2.3m people registered as voters: IEC

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: In more than a month, above 2.3 million people registered themselves across the country to vote in Oct 20 Wolesi Jirga and district council elections, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) said.

The voter registration process for the upcoming elections has been ongoing since April 14 and the commission has accelerated its efforts at holding free, fair and transparent polls.

According to the Independent Election Commission (IEC) information, the voter registration drive would be completed in two phases — first in cities and the second phase in districts centers and villages.

However, the IEC extended the voter registration deadline for another month both in districts and provinces.

A IEC list, available with Pajhwok Afghan News, shows that till yesterday’s afternoon more than two million and 300,000 people have registered their names at voter registration centers nationwide.

Based on the commission’s information during the past 36 days, 23,18,040 individuals including 1597909 men and 668200 women were enrolled at voter registration centers.

According to the established list, 51,494 Kuchis and 437 Hindus are among those registered so far.

As fears were raised about stickers on ID cards, the Presidential Palace said those having problem with the sticker can put the sticker on the ID card copy, a decision to which the IEC finally agreed.