Afghanistan

sToRmR1dR

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Taliban claim blast in Afghan capital as draft peace deal agreed
The Taliban claimed responsibility for a car bomb explosion that rocked the Afghan capital Kabul on Monday, killing at least five people and wounding dozens more and shaking windows and doors in houses several kilometers away from the blast.
The Kabul residents of the P9 district took to the streets following a deadly Taliban attack, and blocked the highway east of Kabul, demanding foreign troops to be removed from the area.

03.09.2019

03.09.2019
 

angelburst29

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Official says 16 dead, 119 hurt in Taliban attack in Kabul

(AFP)
KABUL: Sept. 3, 2019 - The death toll from a late-night Taliban suicide attack in the Afghan capital rose to 16 civilians on Tuesday, with 119 people wounded, an official said. Angry Kabul residents climbed over the wall into the international compound, which has been targeted frequently, and set part of it on fire.

Thick smoke rose from the Green Village, home to several international organizations and guesthouses and often a target of attacks — a peril to nearby local residents as well.

Nearby homes were shredded and the concrete blast wall, on the western side of the compound, had buckled. A large crater was left in the street.

The Taliban continue such attacks even as a US envoy says the militant group has reached a deal “in principle” with the US on ending America’s longest war, including a troop withdrawal that the Taliban already portray as their victory.

He said the attack was a response to raids by US and Afghan forces on civilians in other parts of the country. While he acknowledged there should be less harm to civilians, he said they shouldn’t be living near such an important foreign compound.

Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said some 400 foreigners had been rescued after the suicide bomber targeted the compound late on Monday. Five attackers were shot and killed by security forces after the bomber detonated a tractor packed with explosives, he said.

Kabul ‘concerned’ about US-Taliban deal, seeks clarification

Smoke rises from the site of an attack after a massive explosion the night before near the Green Village in Kabul on September 3, 2019. (Wakil Kohsar/AFP)

September 04, 2019 - KABUL: The Afghan government expressed doubts Wednesday about a prospective deal between the US and the Taliban, saying officials need more information about the risks it poses.

US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad was in Kabul this week, when he shared with Afghan officials an agreement “in principle” Washington has forged with the Taliban that would lead to a pull-out of American troops.

As U.S. outlines draft Taliban deal, Pentagon chief provides few details
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper holds his first news conference at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., August 28, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Wednesday he would limit his comments on talks between the United States and Taliban because negotiations were still ongoing "in some ways," even as details of a draft deal have been publicly announced by President Donald Trump and a senior U.S. diplomat.

Afghan government has concerns about U.S.-Taliban peace deal
A member of the Afghan security force stands in front of a poster of Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani in Kabul, Afghanistan September 2, 2019.REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

The Afghan government has concerns about the draft peace agreement reached between U.S. and Taliban negotiators and wants further clarification, President Ashraf Ghani's main spokesman said on Wednesday.
 

angelburst29

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Taliban suicide bomber kills at least 10 civilians, two NATO troops in Kabul
A wounded man receives treatment at a hospital after a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan September 5, 2019. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
A Taliban suicide blast in the center of Kabul killed at least 10 civilians and two NATO soldiers on Thursday, destroying cars and shops in an area near the headquarters of Afghanistan's international military force and the U.S. embassy.

Serbia raps Croatia over treatment of Afghan migrants
Migrants from Afghanistan have lunch at the camp for refugees and migrants in the Belgrade suburb of Krnjaca, Serbia, September 3, 2019.  REUTERS/Marko Djurica

Serbia's refugee agency has accused Croatian border police of torturing a 16-year-old Afghan refugee and of denying him and 15 other migrants traveling with him their right to claim asylum in the European Union.
 

angelburst29

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Sep 05 2019 - Report: Pompeo 'Declines' to Sign Afghan Deal :deadhorse:
Report: Pompeo 'Declines' to Sign Afghan Deal

While the US and Taliban are close to a peace deal to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has declined to sign the Afghan peace deal, TIME Magazine reported.

The fragile peace negotiations between Washington and the Taliban may have hit a snag, as the US secretary of state has reportedly refused to sign on to a draft of the peace deal as it currently stands, according to a new report by Time Magazine.

On Monday, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, who is in Kabul after wrapping up Doha talks, told TOLOnews that the US and the Taliban have reached an agreement in principle and it is closed, but added that the document is not final until US President Donald Trump approves it.

Sep 05 2019 - Afghan Gov't Voices Serious Doubts About US-Taliban Deal
Afghan Gov't Voices Serious Doubts About US-Taliban Deal

The Afghan government announced it has serious doubts about a draft peace agreement recently reached between United States and Taliban negotiators and wants further clarification.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s Spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said on Twitter Wednesday that while the Kabul administration supports any progress in an eventual peace process, it wants to prevent any negative consequences, presstv reported.

“The Afghan government is also concerned and we, therefore, would like further clarity on this document to completely analyze its dangers and negative consequences and avoid the dangers,” the spokesman noted.

The statement is Kabul's first such reaction to the prospective deal that Washington forged with the Taliban in the Qatari capital Doha on Monday.

US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, an Afghan-born US diplomat, is expected to hold a series of meetings with Afghan and NATO officials to explain the draft agreement, which must still be approved by US President Donald Trump before it can be signed.

Trump was due to look at the proposed pact this week. If the IS President and Taliban leaders approve the draft deal, it could be signed and announced any day.
 

angelburst29

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Pentagon chief says U.S. working toward 'good deal' with Taliban
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper holds a news conference with French Defense Minister Florence Parly (not pictured) at the residence of French Defense Minister in Paris, France, September 7, 2019. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Saturday that while it was seeking a political agreement with the Taliban, Washington would not accept just any deal after a wave of violence cast a shadow over its talks with the insurgent group.

Taliban kidnap six Afghan journalists
Taliban kidnapped six Afghan journalists working for private and government media organizations in eastern Paktia province, government officials and Taliban said on Saturday.

Spike in Taliban attacks 'unhelpful' to Afghan peace push: U.S. general
FILE PHOTO: Angry Afghan protesters burn tires and shout slogans at the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan September 3, 2019. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani/File Photo

A spike in attacks by Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan has been "particularly unhelpful" to peace efforts there, a senior U.S. military commander cautioned on Saturday as he visited neighboring Pakistan, where many Taliban militants are based.
 

angelburst29

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Oh Geez ... now WHAT?

Trump says he canceled peace talks with Taliban over Kabul attack
U.S. President Donald Trump departs after presenting NBA Hall of Fame player Jerry West with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the Oval office of the White House in Washington, U.S., September 5, 2019.      REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

U.S. President Donald Trump departs after presenting NBA Hall of Fame player Jerry West with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the Oval office of the White House in Washington, U.S., September 5, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday said he canceled peace talks with Afghanistan's Taliban leaders after the insurgent group said it was behind an attack in Kabul that killed an American soldier and 11 other people.

“If they cannot agree to a ceasefire during these very important peace talks, and would even kill 12 innocent people, then they probably don’t have the power to negotiate a meaningful agreement anyway,” Trump said on Twitter, saying he had been planning to meet with Taliban leaders on Sunday.

Son of Afghan resistance hero criticizes 'secretive' U.S. Taliban deal
Ahmad Massoud, son of the slain hero of the anti-Soviet resistance Ahmad Shah Massoud, waves as he arrives to attend a new political movement in Bazarak, Panjshir province Afghanistan September 5, 2019. Picture taken September 5, 2019.REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

A "secretive" peace deal between United States and the Taliban could face wide resistance in Afghanistan if it opens the door to the insurgents' hardline regime, said the son of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the slain hero of the anti-Soviet resistance.
 

angelburst29

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Afghan president renews calls for peace, demands ceasefire
Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani speaks during an event with Afghan security forces in Kabul, Afghanistan September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani made a renewed call for peace on Monday but insisted the Taliban must observe a ceasefire, as he sought to regain a hold on the peace process following the surprise collapse of talks between the United States and the militants.

Sep 09 2019 - Pompeo: Afghan Peace Talks Dead ‘for Time Being’, US Won't Enter Any Agreement
Pompeo: Afghan Peace Talks Dead ‘for Time Being’, US Won't Enter Any Agreement

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that peace negotiations with Afghanistan’s Taliban are dead and that Washington will not enter any future agreement without “commitments” from the militants.

Appearing on a round of cable news shows Sunday morning, Pompeo told Fox News, that negotiations with the Taliban are dead “for the time being”, adding that Washington is recalling its special envoy to Afghanistan to work out its next steps.

Also appearing on CNN, Pompeo noted that the US would not enter into any future agreement with the Taliban without “significant commitments” from the fighters, who now control more Afghan territory than at any point since the US invasion in 2001.

Pompeo’s statements come one day after President Donald Trump canceled meetings with Taliban officials at Camp David. Trump scrapped the talks –which were planned in secret– after Taliban-claimed attacks in Kabul killed 12 people, including one American soldier, earlier in the week.

“If they cannot agree to a ceasefire during these very important peace talks, and would even kill 12 innocent people, then they probably don’t have the power to negotiate a meaningful agreement anyway,” Trump tweeted on Saturday.

With diplomacy scuppered, Pompeo told CNN that “if the Taliban don’t behave...we’re not going to reduce our support for the Afghan security forces that have fought so hard there in Afghanistan”, a hint that the US may remain involved in Afghan affairs for some time yet.

Sep 09 2019 - Taliban Vows US 'Will Suffer More Than Anyone Else' as Trump Cancels Secret Talks
Taliban Vows US 'Will Suffer More Than Anyone Else' as Trump Cancels Secret Talks

The Taliban slammed the United States on Sunday, releasing a statement warning that Americans would "suffer" for cancelling planned inter-Afghan peace talks.

"The Americans will suffer more than anyone else for cancelling the talks," Reuters cited Taliban Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid as saying.

The spokesman warned the talks' cancellation would lead to 'further losses of US lives' and other assets, adding that the US would be forced to return to negotiations sooner or later.

In the meantime, the Taliban promised to continue their war until foreign powers carry out a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan.

According to Mujahid, talks had been proceeding smoothly until Saturday, with the government and the militants agreeing to formal intra-Afghan Peace talks on September 23.
 

angelburst29

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Sep 08 2019 - Report: Trump's Clash with Bolton as US Meeting with Taliban Cancelled
Report: Trump's Clash with Bolton as US Meeting with Taliban Cancelled


US National Security Adviser John Bolton has described a peace agreement that Washington is trying to clinch with the Taliban as irrelevant, reminding President Donald Trump of the deal’s “potential pitfalls”, several unnamed sources revealed.

Trump has stated that he had decided to cancel a meeting with the Taliban movement's leadership after the group claimed responsibility for staging a terrorist attack in the Afghan capital Kabul which left “12 innocent people” dead, including an American soldier.

The sources told Bloomberg that Bolton specifically berated US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad for agreeing to terms offered by the Taliban that Bolton claimed were too vague.

He apparently referred to Khalilzad recently tweeting that Washington is “at the threshold of an agreement that will reduce violence and open the door for Afghans to sit together to negotiate an honourable and sustainable peace and a unified, sovereign Afghanistan that does not threaten the United States, its allies, or any other country".

In late August, US media reported that Bolton has been kept out of any discussions related to the ongoing US-Taliban negotiations because his opposition to diplomacy has irritated Trump.

Bolton has called for an expanded military presence in Afghanistan and also opposed Trump’s efforts to negotiate with North Korea and any potential engagement with Iran, The Washington Post reported, citing unnamed officials.

TIME Magazine has also reported that while the US and Taliban are close to a peace deal to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has declined to sign the Afghan peace deal.

Bolton's alleged frustration over the matter comes as Trump announced on Saturday that he had cancelled a secret meeting with Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani as well as the Taliban movement's leadership in Camp David over recent deadly terrorist attacks in Kabul.

Trump has recently vowed the United States would leave 8,600 troops in Afghanistan regardless of the outcome of the talks.

Sep 08 2019 - Afghan Government Urges Taliban to Stop Violence, Hold Direct Talks
Afghan Government Urges Taliban to Stop Violence, Hold Direct Talks

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani urged the Taliban on Sunday to end violence and talk directly to his government after US President Donald Trump announced he had canceled a planned meeting with the insurgent group over a draft peace accord.

Afghan president renews calls for peace, demands ceasefire
Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani speaks during an event with Afghan security forces in Kabul, Afghanistan September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani made a renewed call for peace on Monday but insisted the Taliban must observe a ceasefire, as he sought to regain a hold on the peace process following the surprise collapse of talks between the United States and the militants.

More Americans will die after Trump abruptly ends Afghan talks, Taliban say
Foreign troops with NATO-led Resolute Support Mission investigate at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan September 5, 2019. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
President Donald Trump's decision to cancel Afghan peace talks will cost more American lives, the Taliban said on Sunday while the United States promised to keep up military pressure on the militants, in a stunning reversal of efforts to forge a deal ending nearly 20 years of war in Afghanistan.
 

angelburst29

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Trump says as far as he is concerned, Afghanistan talks are dead
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump stands in the Oval Office during a presentation of the Presidential Medal of Freedom to NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West at the White House in Washington, U.S., September 5, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that talks with Afghanistan's Taliban leaders are off and that he was still considering a U.S. troop drawdown in the country.

U.S. military likely to ramp up operations against Taliban: U.S. general
An advisor from the 2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade stands at the fortification of a base during deployment to Afghanistan June 13, 2019.  Courtesy Maj. Jonathan Camire/U.S. Army/Handout via REUTERS

The U.S. military is likely to accelerate the pace of its operations in Afghanistan to counter an increase in Taliban attacks, a senior U.S. general said on Monday following Washington's suspension of peace talks with the insurgents.

Trump says Taliban talks 'dead,' U.S. military to ramp up Afghanistan operations
Advisors from the 2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade conduct marksmanship training during their deployment to Afghanistan April 9, 2019.  Courtesy Sgt. Jordan Trent/U.S. Army/Handout via REUTERS

U.S. President Donald Trump proclaimed talks with Afghanistan's Taliban leaders dead on Monday, while the general in charge said the U.S. military is likely to ramp up operations in Afghanistan to counter an increase in Taliban attacks.

US, Taliban insist on Russia’s presence at signing of agreement — senior diplomat
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov © Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

VLADIVOSTOK, September 3, 2019 - The United States and Afghanistan’s movement Taliban (outlawed in Russia) insist that Russia should be present in some capacity at the possible signing of an agreement the two sides are working on, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov said in reply to a TASS question.

"Firstly, we’ve got to realize when the agreement will be achieved and what it is about. It is not ruled out that at the request of both participants in the negotiations Russia will be present at the signing of the document in some capacity, if and when it has been agreed," Morgulov said, adding that "not only Russia, but some other countries might be present at the signing."

Reuters said on Monday that an agreement on a peace settlement in Afghanistan between the Taliban and the United States would be officially signed after its approval by Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani. According to information available at this point US special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad had met with the Afghan leader to present to him a draft peace agreement between the Taliban and the US administration. Ghani has two days to consider the draft agreement and make up his mind.
 

sToRmR1dR

The Living Force
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U.S. military likely to ramp up operations against Taliban: U.S. general

The U.S. military is likely to accelerate the pace of its operations in Afghanistan to counter an increase in Taliban attacks, a senior U.S. general said on Monday following Washington's suspension of peace talks with the insurgents.
In a statement, the Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid warned that Americans would suffer more for cancelling the peace talks.

Taliban Vows US 'Will Suffer More Than Anyone Else' as Trump Cancels Secret Talks
Sep 09, 2019
"The Americans will suffer more than anyone else for cancelling the talks," Reuters cited Taliban Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid as saying.
Zarif: Iran Concerned about Imminent Spread of Violence in Afghanistan
Sep 09, 2019
“The Islamic Republic of Iran warns that foreigners and aggressors may cash in on the new situation in this country and trigger a fresh round of killing and bloodshed in Afghanistan,” Zarif said on Sunday.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
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Oh, real serious stuff ... wonder what's going to happen here - a week from now, on September 19th?

Congress committee subpoenas Trump envoy to Taliban talks



Thurs. Sept.12, 2019 - WASHINGTON (AP) — The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday issued a subpoena to the Trump administration's envoy to the U.S.-Taliban talks, demanding that he testify at an open congressional hearing next week.

Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., complained that the Trump administration was keeping Congress and the American people "in the dark" about negotiations with the Taliban, which have broken down.

Engel issued the subpoena to compel Zalmay Khalilzag to testify Sept. 19. He said he issued the subpoena because the State Department had refused requests in February, April and earlier this month for briefings or testimony from Khalilzad.

The State Department had no immediate comment Thursday.

In a weekend tweet, Trump called off negotiations and canceled a meeting he said he wanted to have with Afghan government leaders and the Taliban at the Camp David presidential retreat.

"More than 2,000 American troops have died in Afghanistan, and I'm fed up with this administration keeping Congress and the American people in the dark on the peace process and how we're going to bring this long war to a close," Engel said in a statement.

"For months, we haven't been able to get answers on the Afghanistan Peace Plan, and now the President is saying the plan is dead. We need to hear directly from the administration's point person on Afghanistan to understand how this process went off the rails. (...oow ... hot-hot-HOT!)

U.S. House panel to force testimony from Trump's Afghan envoy
FILE PHOTO: U.S. envoy for peace in Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad speaks during a debate at Tolo TV channel in Kabul, Afghanistan April 28, 2019. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani/File Photo

The U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee said on Thursday it will subpoena President Donald Trump's special Afghanistan envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, to testify on Sept. 19, after the abrupt cancellation of talks with the country's Taliban militia.

Taliban car bomb blast kills four Afghan special forces in Kabul
A suicide bomber targeted an Afghan Special Forces base in Kabul on Thursday, killing at least four commandos, officials said, as violence continued to escalate following the collapse of peace talks between the United States and Taliban insurgents.

Sep 12 2019 - Trump Says 'Intensified' US Assault on Taliban to Go on as Secret Peace Talks Cancelled
Trump Says 'Intensified' US Assault on Taliban to Go on as Secret Peace Talks Cancelled

Speaking at the 9/11 commemoration event, US President Donald Trump said that over "the last four days" US forces have "hit our enemy harder than they have ever been hit before and that will continue".

On day one, new U.S. envoy to U.N. vows 'strong American leadership'
New U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft speaks to reporters after attending her first U.N. Security Council meeting at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S. September 12, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar

New U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Kelly Craft, started work at the 193-member world body on Thursday, pledging to defend U.S. values and interests, support friends and allies and advocate for the poor with "strong American leadership."
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
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Two Afghan Taliban shadow governors killed as air strikes step up
Afghan security forces, backed by U.S. air strikes, killed two of the movement's shadow provincial governors on Sunday, as fighting stepped up in the wake of the collapse of talks aimed at ending the conflict, officials said.

Afghanistan hit by blackouts after power pylons destroyed
September 16, 2019 - KABUL - Afghan households and businesses in about a third of the country have been hit by blackouts after
electricity pylons in the northern province of Baghlan were blown up over the weekend, the main power utility said on Monday.

The utility, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS), said three pylons carrying 220 KW of electricity imported from neighboring Uzbekistan had been destroyed on Sunday, cutting power in 11 of the country’s 34 provinces, including the capital, Kabul.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attacks, which come as fighting has intensified in northern provinces including Baghlan amid stalled efforts by the United States and the Taliban to agree plans to withdraw thousands of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

DABS said engineers had arrived from neighboring provinces to work on restoring the pylons.

Afghanistan generates only 25 percent of its electricity domestically and the lines bringing power in from Uzbekistan have been attacked regularly, forcing those that can afford it to rely on expensive diesel generators. For poorer families, the blackouts mean hours without power for daily needs.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
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17th service member killed in Afghanistan this year, 1st since peace talks collapse

September 16, 2019 - A U.S. service member was killed in action in Afghanistan on Monday, the first American combat death since President Donald Trump decided to call off peace talks with the Taliban earlier this month.

The service member is the 17th American killed in combat in Afghanistan this year -- the highest number since the end of 2014.

"In accordance with U.S. Department of Defense policy, the name of the service member is being withheld until 24 hours after family notification is complete," Resolute Support, the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan, said in a statement on Monday.

U.S. service member killed in Afghanistan
A U.S. service member was killed in Afghanistan on Monday, the NATO-led Resolute Support mission said, after the collapse of talks between the United States and Taliban to end the nearly 18-year old war.

China signals veto in standoff with U.S. over Afghanistan U.N. mission: diplomats
FILE PHOTO: Chinese and U.S. flags flutter near The Bund, before U.S. trade delegation meet their Chinese counterparts for talks in Shanghai, China July 30, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo/File Photo

China and the United States are deadlocked over a U.N. Security Council resolution to extend the world body's political mission in Afghanistan, with Beijing signaling it will cast a veto because there is no reference to its global Belt and Road infrastructure project, diplomats said on Monday.

Spain's court rules against extraditing Venezuelan ex-spymaster
Former Venezuelan intelligence chief Hugo Carvajal leaves prison after being freed in Estremera, Spain September 16, 2019. REUTERS/Javier Barbancho

Spain's High Court ruled on Monday that the government should refuse a request from the United States to extradite Venezuela's former military intelligence chief and ordered his release from jail.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
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Blast kills 24 at Afghan election rally, aide says president unhurt

Independent Election Commission personnel check biometric devices on September 16, 2019 as they prepare for the upcoming presidential election. (AFP)

September 17, 2019 - KABUL: An explosion near an election rally attended by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani killed 24 people and injured 31 others, a health official said, but Ghani was unhurt according to an aide.

Ghani had been due to address the rally in Charikar, capital of Parwan province, north of Kabul, when the suspected militant attack occurred.

“Women and children are among them and most of the victims seem to be the civilians. Ambulances are still operating, and the number of casualties may rise,” said Abdul Qasim Sangin, head of the provincial hospital.

A local government official said the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber.

“The president is unharmed,” Ghani’s aide said. There was no claim of responsibility from any militant group after the blast.

In a separate incident, an explosion killed at least three people in the center of Kabul, police officials said. Ambulances and Afghan forces rushed to the blast site.

Taliban commanders have vowed to intensify clashes with the Afghan and foreign forces to dissuade people from voting in the Sept. 28 presidential election, when Ghani will bid for a second five-year term.

Security at rallies across the country has been tight following threats by the Taliban to attack meetings and polling stations.
Peace talks between the United States and the Taliban collapsed last week. The two sides had been seeking to reach an accord on the withdrawal of thousands of American troops from Afghanistan in exchange for security guarantees from the insurgents.

The talks, which did not include the Afghan government, were intended as a prelude to wider peace negotiations to end more than more 40 years of war in Afghanistan.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
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Taliban attacks kill 48, Afghan leader unhurt as bomber targets rally
Security personnel is seen at the site of a blast near an election rally by President Ashraf Ghani in Parwan province, north of Kabul, Afghanistan September 17, 2019. Reuters TV via REUTERS

Taliban suicide bombers killed 48 people in two separate attacks in Afghanistan on Tuesday, the deadliest taking place near an election rally by President Ashraf Ghani, though he was unhurt.

Iran says it held talks with Afghanistan's Taliban
FILE PHOTO - Members of a Taliban delegation, led by chief negotiator Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (C, front), leave after peace talks with Afghan senior politicians in Moscow, Russia May 30, 2019. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

Iran held talks with a delegation from Afghanistan's Taliban, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, a week after peace talks between the United States and the Islamist insurgents collapsed.
 
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