Afghanistan

angelburst29

The Living Force
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October 12, 2018 - Taliban restore Red Cross Security Guarantee in Afghanistan
Taliban restore Red Cross security guarantee in Afghanistan | Reuters

The Taliban have reinstated a security guarantee in Afghanistan for the International Committee for Red Cross (ICRC), two months after withdrawing safe passage for the neutral humanitarian agency, the militant group and an ICRC official said on Friday.

A meeting in the Taliban’s Qatar-based political office between its leaders and agency officials ended with the renewal of a pact allowing the agency to continue to provide, and expand, medical aid to all parties harmed by warfare.

“The security agreement...is once again reinstated and calls on all mujahideen to grant access...and provide security for the personnel and equipment of this organization,” the Taliban said in a statement, referring to its members.

The Taliban leadership in Doha discussed the humanitarian situation and security concerns before renewing the pledge, said Andrea Catta Preta, the ICRC’s spokeswoman in the Afghan capital.

“We told the Taliban leaders about our support to all prisoners in Afghanistan jails, we explained our medical programs,” she added. “Finally, we reached an understanding.”

In August, the Taliban had accused the Red Cross of failing to provide adequate medical aid to prisoners on a hunger strike in Kabul’s Pul-e Charkhi prison and withdrew the security cover.

The decision forced the ICRC to suspend several emergency programs in Afghanistan, where it has had a presence for three decades and about 1,000 staff. Last year it scaled back operations after attacks killed seven of its staff.

The ICRC treats all parties harmed by warfare and does not take sides. It operates in Taliban-controlled areas with guarantees of safety and helps to repatriate bodies from both sides after fighting between the militants and the Afghan army.


Fri Oct 12, 2018 - Several Dead as Airstrikes Target Gathering of Taliban Leaders in Wardak
Farsnews

Several Taliban militants including their high ranking leaders were killed during the operations of the Afghan armed forces in Central Maidan Wardak province.

The Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS), in a statement said the intelligence operatives conducted a special operation in Syedabad district with the support of the air forces, Khaama Press reported.

The statement further added that 21 militants including some high ranking leaders of the Taliban and Haqqani network were killed during the operations.

The key Taliban leaders killed during the operations include Taliban’s shadow intelligence chief Mawlavi Naqibullah also famous as Majid, Taliban leader in charge of looking after the disabled militants Mawlavi Abdul Rahman, Haqqani network leader Mawlavi Saif Ur Rehman, Mawlavi Samad, Taliban’s shadow district chief for Syedabad, Taliban’s commander for Tangi area of Syedabad Mawlavi Syedullah, and Taliban commander in charge of a group of 15 militants Mullah Naqib, NDS said.

At least 15 other militants were also killed during the operations and 2 others sustained injuries, NDS added in its statement.

The statement also added that the operations were conducted while the militants were busy planning their future attacks.


Fri Oct 12, 2018 - Taliban Militants, Civilians Suffer Heavy Casualties in Premature Car Bomb Explosion
Farsnews

At least nineteen people, including Taliban militants and ordinary civilians, were killed or wounded in a premature car bomb explosion in Northern Faryab province of Afghanistan.

The 209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the North in a statement said the incident has taken place in the vicinity of Khwaja Namosi Bazar, leaving at least ten militants and five civilians dead, Khaama Press reported.

The statement further added that the Taliban militants were looking to detonate the car bomb in Maimana city to target security forces or the electoral campaigns.

However, the 209th Shaheen Corps said the car bomb went prematurely as the militants were transporting it to the city, leaving ten militants dead and four others wounded.

According to the 209th Shaheen Corps, at least five civilians also lost their lives in the explosion.

The anti-government militant groups including Taliban have not commented regarding the incident so far.

Faryab is among the relatively volatile provinces in North of Afghanistan where the Taliban militants are actively operating in some of its districts and often carry out terrorist related activities.


Thu Oct 11, 2018 - UN: +8,000 Afghan Civilian Killed, Injured in 2018
Farsnews

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) reported that at least 8,050 Afghan civilians were killed or wounded in the first nine months of 2018.

The UNAMA said in a report issued on Wednesday that the figure in 2018 saw slight increase compared to the same period a year earlier, when there were 8,084 casualties, with deaths this year increasing five percent to 2,798 and injuries decreasing three percent to 5,252, World News reported.

"As there can be no military solution to the fighting in Afghanistan, the United Nations renews its call for an immediate and peaceful settlement to the conflict," Tadamichi Yamamoto, the top UN official in Afghanistan, stated.

Afghan people still face insecurity 17 years after the United States and its allies invaded the country as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror.


Wed Oct 10, 2018 - Taliban Commander Leading Group of 50 Militants Killed in Faryab Airstrike
Farsnews

A Taliban local commander who was in charge of a group of at least 50 militants was killed in an airstrike in Northern Faryab province of Afghanistan.

The 209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the North in a statement said the airstrike was carried out at around 12:20am on Wednesday, Khaama Press reported.

The statement further added that the airstrike left at least seven militants dead, including a Taliban commander who was in charge of a group of at least 50 militants.

According to 209th Shaheen Corps, the airstrike was carried out in the vicinity of Shakh area of Qaisar district.

The Taliban commander killed in the airstrike has been identified as Mullah Daud Taimani, the 209th Shaheen Corps added in its statement.
 

sToRmR1dR

The Living Force
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Iran Warns of Spread of Terrorism in Afghanistan

Farsnews

Sarmadi made the remarks in a meeting with Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)'s 17th summit in Dushanbe on Friday.

During the meeting, the two high-ranking officials studied the latest developments in bilateral ties, stressing the need to strengthen them.

Sarmadi referred to the security situation of the region and transfer of terrorists from Iraq and Syria to Afghanistan, and said, "We consider Afghanistan's security as our own security and we will not spare any assistance to confront them (the terrorist groups)."

Elsewhere, he underscored Iran's resistance against the sanctions imposed by the US President Donald Trump's administration, dismissing unilateralism in the world.

The US and certain regional states have been witnessed attempting to transfer the terrorists from Iraq and Syria to Afghanistan after their failures in the two countries.

In relevant remarks in February, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami in a phone conversation with his Afghan counterpart Tariq Shah Bahrami warned that Washington was implementing plots to transfer the ISIL terrorist group to Afghanistan.

During the conversation, General Hatami voiced regret over the death of hundreds of innocent Afghan people in the recent terrorist attacks, stressing, "Iran has always been concerned about foreign plots against the Afghan people."

He said that the Americans had created the ISIL to use them in Iraq and Syria, and added, "The US attempted to take the ISIL out of the battlefield after its heavy defeats in the two countries and transfer them to Afghanistan to justify its presence in Afghanistan with their shameless crimes."

General Hatami warned that the US was pursuing plans to increase military forces in Afghanistan, and said establishment of security in Afghanistan was possible only through the regional states' positive approach and use of their common capacities to fight against terrorism.
 

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The Living Force
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Taliban Ambushes Afghan And NATO Forces In Helmand

On October 13, the Taliban ambushed a convoy of Afghan government forces and the NATO in the district of Marjah in the southern province of Helmand, according to the Afghan group news agency Voice of Jihad. The convoy was reportedly on its way to lift the siege of a nearby military base.

Voice of Jihad said that during the ambush five armored vehicles were destroyed with 13 IEDs, which had been planted by Taliban fighters. As a result, 16 personnel of the Afghan National Army (ANA) and the Afghan National Police (ANP) were killed.

Earlier this week, Afghan Air Force (AAF) warplanes carried out a series of airstrikes on Taliban gatherings and positions in Helmand killing and injuring 40 elements of the Afghan group. The new ambush may be a response to the AAF airstrikes.

Taliban stepped up its operations in southern Afghanistan lately, especially in Helmand and Zabul. By doing so, the Afghan group is trying to secure its smuggling routes on the Afghan-Pakistani border.


Taliban Captures Afghanistan’s Southeastern City: Spokesman - Tasnim News Agency

Taliban Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said Afghanistan’s southeastern city of Khoshamand in Paktika Province has fallen into the hands of the militant group.

In a statement released on Saturday, Mujahid said that Khoshamand was seized by Taliban forces following an attack on the headquarters of police in the city.

In the attack, the police chief of the city and 10 security forces were killed, six others were injured, and another six were captured by the Taliban militants, according to the statement.

He also said two members of the Taliban were killed and four others were injured in the clash with the police forces.

The development came as the US envoy for Afghanistan peace efforts arrived in Kabul on Saturday after meeting Taliban leaders in Qatar in an effort to find a way to end the 17-year-old war in the country, three Afghan officials said.

Zalmay Khalilzad, the Afghan-born US adviser, met with Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday and briefed him about his 10-day tour of four countries conducted in a bid to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table, Reuters reported.

A senior member of the Taliban confirmed that Khalilzad met the Taliban leadership on Friday in Doha.

"Both sides discuss prospects of peace and the US presence in Afghanistan," said the official, requesting anonymity.


PressTV-Taliban agrees to continue talks with US

Afghan militant group Taliban have announced they will continue the so-called peace talks with the United States, insisting however that no tangible agreement has been reached in a first round of meeting in the Qatari capital of Doha.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in a statement on Saturday that continuing with the talks was mutually agreed in the Doha meeting a day earlier between representatives of the group and delegation led by veteran US diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad.

“Both sides spoke (about) an end to the occupation and a peaceful solution to the Afghan issue ... Both sides agreed to continue meeting in the future,” said Mujahid, without elaborating.

Other Taliban sources described the Friday discussions as “detailed”, saying head of Taliban’s Qatar office Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanakzai, led the group’s delegation to the talks.

“It was an introductory meeting in which an eight-member US delegation held a detailed meeting with members of our political office,” a senior Taliban member said.

Another Taliban official, requesting anonymity, said the talks were focused on US military presence in Afghanistan, which the militants say is a main impediment to peace.

It said Khalilzad, an Afghan-born US diplomat and a former Washington envoy to Kabul, had requested a six-month ceasefire to be announced by the Taliban before parliamentary polls on October 20.

A Taliban source said the group asked in return for a mechanism that would lead to the release of militants from Afghan jails.

Neither side agreed to accept the other’s demands immediately, but they agreed to meet again and find a solution to the conflict,” said the source, adding that Khalilzad had called for the formation of special committees that could facilitate the release of prisoners.

Reports said Khalilzad was in Kabul on Saturday to brief Afghan President Ashraf Ghani about his 10-day tour of four countries, namely Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, that could play a role in peace efforts on Afghanistan.

However, Washington, which appointed Khalilzad special envoy for peace in Afghanistan, did not confirm his meeting with the Taliban in Doha. It only said in a statement that “All citizens of Afghanistan must be a part of this reconciliation process”, clearly a sign that Washington was approving of the talks with a group that has been its main enemy in Afghanistan for the past 17 years.

The United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to topple a government led by the Taliban. The administration of US President Donald Trump is struggling to find a way out of the costly conflict as the Taliban has managed to reassert itself in several provinces by taking control of key areas.

Kabul blames Taliban for the bulk of more than 8,000 deaths in Afghanistan since the start of 2018. It says the group has also managed to dissuade people from participating in the upcoming general elections.
 

sToRmR1dR

The Living Force
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'US Agrees to Discuss Troop Pullout': Claim Afghan Taliban Officials

Reports coming after a Friday meeting in Doha, Qatar, between US diplomats and top Afghan Taliban officials suggest that Washington has agreed to discuss bringing its troops home and end America’s 17-year war in Afghanistan.

During Friday's preliminary talks, US special envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad discussed with the Taliban conditions to bring about the end of the US's 17-year war in Afghanistan, according to two ranking Taliban officials speaking on condition of anonymity, as reported by Al Jazeera.

"Six US delegates arrived in Doha to have a meeting with our [Taliban] leaders [and] agreed to discuss all issues, including the pullout of foreign troops," an unnamed Afghan Taliban official stated.

"But it was a preliminary meeting and all issues were discussed in general, not in detail," the anonymous Taliban official asserted, adding that additional talks are expected in upcoming months, cited by Al Jazeera.

Taliban demands for a peaceful resolution of almost two decades of conflict in Afghanistan at the hands of the US include the complete pullout of all American military personnel, including contract mercenaries, as well as the lifting of sanctions against its leaders, freedom for imprisoned Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, and the creation and recognition of its official political party.

Following Friday's exploratory talks, Khalilzad and other US officials refused to comment on progress between the two belligerents, according to Al Jazeera.

US officials, including Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells, previously met with Taliban officials in Qatar in July.

Appointed in September as US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Khalilzad has in recent months met with representatives from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and Afghanistan in a bid to forge a path to peace.

The US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as a reaction to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, with the mission lasting until December 28, 2014. In 2015, NATO initiated a new mission, Resolute Support, aimed at training Afghan security forces. Nevertheless, seemingly endless US operations have shown limited effectiveness at establishing an enduring peace in Afghanistan.
 

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The Living Force
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Afghanistan unlikely to revise security agreement with US, says Russian diplomat

According to Zamir Kabulov, the presence of contingents from the US and NATO countries in Afghanistan hardly helps to stabilize the situation in the region

Kabul is unlikely to revise at the moment an agreement on security with Washington regulating the stationing of US troops in the Islamic republic, Zamir Kabulov, director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s second Asia department and special presidential envoy for Afghanistan, said in an interview with TASS on Tuesday.

"As far as we know, the Afghan parliament has not voted as of yet to revise the above security agreement with the US. We only know that many parliamentarians are in favor of that," the diplomat said.

"The reason behind this is that this treaty regulating the stationing of American troops in Afghanistan in practice does not contribute in any way to stabilization of the situation in the country. However, it would seem that the Afghan side will hardly go to the length of reviewing this agreement," he added.

According to Kabulov, although the presence of contingents from the US and NATO countries in Afghanistan prevents the military situation from collapsing, it in no way helps to stabilize the situation in the region. "That is why we are confident that it is necessary to stop relying on power politics towards the armed opposition, that Washington and its Western allies are advancing at the moment, but to give a boost to political and diplomatic efforts towards an early start of a dialogue between Kabul and the Taliban movement (outlawed in Russia)," the diplomat stressed.


Taliban attacks kill, wound dozens of Afghan forces

Taliban militants in Afghanistan have killed and wounded dozens of Afghan police forces, including a provincial police chief, in heavy fighting in the northern and central parts of the country, just ahead of parliamentary polls that the militants have vowed to disrupt.

Clashes took place in the Darah Sof Payan district of northern Samangan Province on Monday night, killing 11 police officers — including the province’s Police Chief General Khawani Tahari — and wounding 30 others, said Provincial Council member Naqibullah Tataar on Tuesday.

Fifteen more local police forces were also taken hostage by the militants during the battle, which began in the Zerki Village of the district, Tataar added.

He said that the militants also seized a large quantity of armaments, military vehicles, and equipment.

Local press reports cited Samangan’s police spokesman Mohammad Moniir Rahimi as saying that the Taliban terrorists, who claimed responsibility for the attacks, also suffered heavy casualties. He said 14 Taliban militants were killed and 16 were wounded.


No confirmation yet missing Soviet pilot found in Afghanistan, says diplomat

According to aerlier reports, the pilot was allegedly downed in 1987

Rumors a missing Soviet air pilot has been found alive in Afghanistan have not been confirmed for now, Russia’s special presidential representative for Afghanistan, director of the Foreign Ministry’s Asian Department Zamir Kabulov, has told TASS.

"Regrettably, there has been no confirmation a Soviet air pilot who went missing in Afghanistan in 1987 has been found," Kabulov said.

On May 31, the chief of the joint commission for POW affairs of the Russian Defense Ministry, co-chairman of the Russian-US commission on POWS and MIAs, Valery Vostrotin, said that a Soviet air pilot, listed missing in Afghanistan in 1987, had been found alive.
 

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The Living Force
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Parliamentary candidate killed in Afghanistan — media

An explosion occurred on Wednesday in the office of a parliamentary candidate in Afghanistan, the 1TV channel reported.

The explosion took place in the Helmand province in the south of the country and killed parliamentary candidate Abdul Jabar Qahraman, the TV channel reported.

The parliamentary election in Afghanistan is to take place on October 20. The election of local government members will be carried out simultaneously with the parliamentary election.
 

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The Living Force
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NATO convoy attacked near US base outside Afghan capital

A bomber has killed two Afghan civilians and wounded at least three foreign troops in an attack near the largest US military base near the Afghan capital, Kabul, local officials say.

Mohammad Mahfouz Walizada, police chief of Parwan province, where the military base is located, said a bomber on foot targeted foreign forces while they were on patrol.

The soldiers' nationality was not immediately known.

Waheda Shahkar, a spokeswoman for Parwan's governor, confirmed the attack in the Sey Dukan area of Bagram district.

"Two civilians were killed and two others injured," Shahkar said. The injured, both women, were taken to the airbase for medical treatment.

The Taliban militant group claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement, saying that NATO forces were their main target.

Bagram Airfield, close to Kabul, has frequently come under attack by Taliban over the past years.

Early on Wednesday, Taliban attacked checkpoints in Baghlan province, killing six policemen and wounding two others in a four-hour battle. According to provincial police chief General Ekramuddin Sarih, about 10 insurgents were also killed in the fierce fighting.

In the eastern province of Maidan Wardak, a car bomber targeted a military vehicle, killing two army troops, said Hekmat Durani, spokesman for the provincial police chief. Durani said Abdul Razeq, the commander of an army battalion, was wounded in Wednesday’s attack in Chek district.

In other violence, a bomb accidentally detonated inside a local Taliban commander’s home in the western province of Herat, killing five people, four men and a woman. Gelani Farhad, spokesman for the provincial governor, said two other women were wounded in the blast late Wednesday afternoon in Push Koh district. The victims were all family members and relatives.

Separately, a Taliban bombing in the southern province of Helmand killed a candidate running in the parliamentary elections this weekend. The blast in Helmand occurred inside the campaign office of Abdul Jabar Qahraman, killing him and wounding seven people.

Taliban militants on Tuesday killed and wounded dozens of Afghan police forces, including a provincial police chief, in heavy fighting in the northern and central parts of the country.

Taliban have vowed to target Afghan security forces in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Militants have killed six other candidates, both before and after the 20-day campaign period started. Two candidates have been abducted and three others have been wounded in the ongoing violence.

Afghan people still face insecurity 17 years after the United States and its allies invaded the country as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror.

Although Taliban were removed from power as a result of the invasion, many areas are still threatened by insecurity.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
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October 18, 2018 - Top Afghan Police Chief killed in shooting, US General unhurt
Top Afghan police chief killed in shooting, U.S. general unhurt | Reuters


FILE PHOTO: Gen. Abdul Razeq, who was killed in today's attack, is seen at his office in Kandahar province, Afghanistan August 4, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer


FILE PHOTO: Incoming Commander of Resolute Support forces and command of NATO forces in Afghanistan, U.S. Army General Scott Miller speaks during a change of command ceremony in Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan September 2, 2018. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

General Abdul Razeq, one of Afghanistan's most powerful security commanders, was killed on Thursday in a shooting attack by a bodyguard that dealt a severe blow to the Afghan government ahead of parliamentary elections on Saturday, officials said.

General Scott Miller, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan who had been at a meeting with Razeq and the governor of the southern province of Kandahar only moments earlier, was not injured in the attack.

But Razeq, the Kandahar police commander, and the local head of the NDS intelligence service were both fatally wounded before the attacker was himself killed. Kandahar Governor Zalmay Wesa was severely wounded and contradictory reports about whether he had survived could not immediately be resolved.

Taliban militants claimed responsibility for the assault, which decapitated the security command in one of the country’s most strategically important and contested provinces.

The Taliban said they said they had targeted both Miller and Razeq, who had a fearsome reputation as a ruthless foe of the Islamist insurgents in their southern Afghan heartland.

Security officials had warned of likely attacks ahead of the election but the death of Razeq caused deep shock that officials fear may keep away voters, after Taliban warnings not to take part in what they consider a foreign-imposed ballot.

“General Razeq’s death will have a huge impact on security and the election in the south because a lot of voters may not feel safe to go to vote,” said a senior security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Taliban released a picture of a young man in military-style uniform who they said was the attacker and Afghan officials identified him by the name of Gulbuddin. It remained unclear how the insurgents managed to infiltrate a gunman so close to such senior commanders.

Officials said Razeq, Miller and the other officials were walking toward a landing zone as the helicopter taking the U.S. general’s party back to Kabul approached to land when the gunman, who was waiting outside, opened fire on the group.

“Provincial officials including the governor, the police chief and other officials were accompanying the foreign guests to the aircraft when the gunshots happened,” said Said Jan Khakrezwal, the head of the provincial council.

The attack underlined how precarious the situation remains in Afghanistan even after Taliban and U.S. officials have opened preliminary contacts aimed at establishing the basis for future peace talks.

But a Pentagon spokesman said Washington remained committed to its strategy of maintaining heavy military pressure on the Taliban to force the insurgents to the negotiating table.

“This attack will not change U.S. resolve in our South Asia strategy. If anything, it makes us more resolute,” U.S. Defense Department spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner told Reuters.

BODY ARMOR
President Ashraf Ghani said a team led by the head of the NDS, Masoom Stanekzai, would be sent to Kandahar to bring the situation under control and investigate the incident, which sharply heightens security concerns around Saturday’s election.


At least two hand grenade explosions and sporadic gunfire from around the compound were also reported by officials, in a sign the attack was carefully coordinated.

The three Afghan officials were all hit in the fusillade from the gunman and two Americans and a coalition contractor were hit in the crossfire. But Miller, who took command of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and the NATO-led Resolute Support mission last month, was not harmed.

“The brutal police chief of Kandahar has been killed along several other officials,” a Taliban statement said.

A flamboyant commander, whose men wore badges bearing his name, Razeq had survived several attempts on his life over the years and narrowly escaped an attack last year in which five diplomats from the United Arab Emirates were killed in Kandahar.

A U.S. Embassy official said eyewitness reports indicated that claims Miller was a target in the attack were false, but he gave no detail.

Local officials said Miller appeared to have been saved by his body armor but there was no immediate confirmation from NATO headquarters.

Razeq was criticized by human rights groups but highly respected by U.S. officers who saw him as one of Afghanistan’s most effective commanders, largely responsible for keeping Kandahar under control.

Although technically only a police commander, he was a powerful political figure in his own right and had clashed repeatedly with Ghani in the past, using his unchallenged position in Kandahar to resist attempts to sack him.

A cameramen working for Afghanistan’s RTA state television was also killed on Thursday, according to the director of the Afghanistan journalists center, Ahmad Quraishi.


Wed Oct 17, 2018 - Afghanistan: Election Candidate Killed in Helmand Blast
Farsnews

Jabar Qahraman, an election candidate from Southern Helmand province was killed in an explosion at his office on Wednesday morning, local officials confirmed.

The explosion happened on Wednesday morning at the office of election candidate Jabar Qahraman, in addition, seven other people were wounded in the blast, TOLOnews reported.

The incident took place at his campaign office in Lashkargah city, a spokesman for the provincial governor, Omar Zwak confirmed, adding that "explosives were placed inside his sofa."

He said that the wounded people have been taken to a nearby hospital.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the explosion.

This comes after last Tuesday’s attack at a campaign office also in Helmand which claimed the lives of eight people including the election candidate, Saleh Mohammad Achakzai.

Since July 1, at least 9 candidates have been killed in attacks.

On October 3, an explosion targeted an election rally in Nangarhar, killing 14 people killed.

On September 25, Nasir Mubarez, a candidate for the Kochis, from Kandahar, was killed by unknown armed men in a shooting in Kandahar City’s PD2.

On September 2, Anwar Niazi, a Parwan candidate, was killed and two others wounded when a magnetic IED was detonated against the vehicle they were traveling in. The incident took place in Kabul city center, in Shirpoor, in PD10, at about 7pm local time.

In August, Jalal Salehi, a candidate from Kabul, was killed during a security forces operation in Kabul’s Shakar Dara district.

Another candidate, former member of Ghazni provincial council, Sayed Obaidullah Sadat, was killed in Ghazni on July 14 by unknown armed men.

On July 1, the Afghan Sikh and Hindu community leader, Ottar Singh Khalsa, who was running for parliamentary elections, was killed in a suicide attack in Jalalabad city in Nangarhar province.

And on July 30, another Nangarhar candidate, Hayatullah Khan Rahmani, was killed when a suicide bomber targeted him in Rodat district in the province.

More than 2,500 candidates are running for 249 parliamentary seats in the October 20 elections.


October 18, 2018 - Afghanistan shooting will not change US resolve in South Asia strategy: Pentagon
Afghanistan shooting will not change U.S. resolve in South Asia strategy: Pentagon | Reuters

A shooting in Afghanistan which killed one of the country’s most powerful security officials will not change U.S. resolve in its South Asia strategy, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

General Abdul Razeq, one of Afghanistan’s most powerful security commanders, was killed on Thursday when a bodyguard opened fire following a meeting at the governor’s office in the southern province of Kandahar, officials said.

“This attack will not change U.S. resolve in our South Asia strategy, if anything it makes us more resolute,” Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner told Reuters.

General Scott Miller, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan who had been at the meeting with General Abdul Razeq only moments earlier, was not injured in the attack.


October 18, 2018 - Afghan Taliban issue fresh call to boycott 'foreign plot' of elections
Afghan Taliban issue fresh call to boycott 'foreign plot' of elections | Reuters

The Taliban issued a fresh call for Afghans to boycott this week’s parliamentary elections on Thursday, denouncing the vote as a foreign-imposed process that went against both Islam and Afghan culture.

The statement was the third such call and followed a similar message on Wednesday telling teachers not to participate as election workers in polling stations, many of which are located in schools.

It said the elections “have no Islamic or Afghan essence but are a foreign plot to prolong occupation” and said it was the duty of every Afghan and Muslim to oppose them.

“Consequently, preachers and prayer leaders must inform their constituency, while tribal leaders and influential figures must prevent participation by the public,” the statement said.

The elections for the lower house of parliament are due to take place on Saturday but preparations have been dogged by chaotic organization and allegations of widespread fraud as well as worries that polling stations will be attacked.

Thousands of police and soldiers have been deployed across the country to ensure security but already nine candidates have been assassinated and hundreds of people have been killed and wounded in election-related attacks.

Although the Taliban say they will not deliberately target civilians, security officials say attacks are likely on Saturday morning to deter voters from going to polling stations.

The Taliban’s strong opposition to the vote comes against a backdrop of contacts with U.S. officials over possible talks to end the 17-year war in Afghanistan, with both sides attempting to secure the upper hand before any formal negotiations begin.

The elections, which have been repeatedly delayed, are seen as a key credibility test for Afghanistan’s democratic institutions but with two days left until the vote, officials were still rushing to complete preparations.

Untested biometric voter registration equipment introduced at the last minute at the demand of political parties was still being sent out and set up in remote provincial voting centers and it was unclear whether it would be ready in time.

Some 8.8 million names have been registered but millions of these are believed to be fraudulently recorded and the real number of likely voters is unknown.

The lower house of parliament, with 249 seats and an extra seat reserved for the small Sikh community, has little power but the elections are seen as a vital step before more important presidential elections in April next year.

District council elections, which were due to be held alongside the parliamentary elections, have been abandoned and in Ghazni province voting will be delayed because of arguments over the representation of different ethnic groups.


Wed Oct 17, 2018 - Bomb-Laden Car Destroyed, Several Militants killed in Afghan Forces' Raid in Nangarhar
Farsnews

A vehicle-borne Improvised Explosive Device was destroyed and several militants were killed during a raid of the Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS), operatives in Eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

The provincial government media office in a statement said the raid was conducted in the vicinity of Sherzad district, Khaama Press reported.

The statement further added that the NDS Special Forces stormed a hideout of the militants in Marak Khel area of the district and as a result a car bomb which was prepared for an attack was destroyed and several militants were killed.

The raid was conducted with an aim to arrest key Taliban group members Ehsanullah who is also famous as Sajid, Omar Tangiwal, and Abdul Raziq also famous as Khalid.

However, the named militants had escaped from the area before the operations were launched but several of their comrades were killed during the raid, the statement added.

The provincial government also added that the local residents and security personnel have not sustained casualties during the operation.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused the US government of transferring the ISIL/Daesh terrorists from Syria to neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan. A formidable opponent against Daesh/Taliban, General Abdul Razeq, police commander of the southern province and one of Afghanistan’s most powerful security officials, were fatally shot - just after leaving a meeting with US General Scott Miller. Was Miller "in" on the assassination plot?


October 19, 2018 - US General says he may not have been target of Kandahar attack
U.S. general says he may not have been target of Kandahar attack | Reuters


Commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan U.S. General Scott Miller attends a meeting in the Kandahar Governor's Compaund in Kandahar, Afghanistan, October 18, 2018. REUTERS/ via REUTERS TV

The top U.S. general in Afghanistan said on Friday he did not believe he was the target of an attack that killed a powerful police chief, and Afghan officials said the gunman may have deliberately avoided hitting him.

The gunman assassinated the police chief of Kandahar province on Thursday along with a top Afghan intelligence agency officer, but the U.S. commander of Afghanistan’s NATO-led force, General Scott Miller, who was standing nearby when the attack occurred, was not hurt. (Comment - Miller was "in" on the planned assassination?)

“My assessment is that I was not the target. It was a very close confined space. But I don’t assess that I was the target,” Miller told Afghanistan’s Tolo News TV in an interview.

General Abdul Razeq, police commander of the southern province and one of Afghanistan’s most powerful security officials, was fatally wounded by a bodyguard of the provincial governor as he came from a meeting with officials on Thursday.

In addition, the local head of the NDS intelligence service was killed and the provincial governor severely wounded, while the attacker himself was killed. Miller was also at the meeting and was heading to his helicopter to return to Kabul when the gunman opened fire.

The Taliban claimed the attack in a statement saying both Razeq and Miller were the targets.

Two Americans and a coalition contractor were wounded, however Afghan security officials, who believe Pakistan was involved in the plan, said they believed the attacker deliberately avoided killing Miller.

“They didn’t want repercussions from the U.S. and the international community. It was a pure warning for Miller that they can hit him if they want to,” one of the Afghan officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

Razeq himself was a fierce critic of Pakistan and its intelligence service, which Afghan officials regularly accuse of supporting Taliban operations, a charge Islamabad denies.

On Friday, the chief of the Pakistan army staff issued a statement condemning the Kandahar violence and saying it supported initiatives towards peace in the region.

A foreign security official said Razeq had stopped visiting the governor’s house in recent months because he feared it had been infiltrated and had only gone because Miller and his delegation were there.

The identity of the killer, named by Afghan officials as Gulbuddin, was known immediately, and police have made three arrests, but details of his background or why he carried out the attack remained unclear.

One senior foreign security official briefed on the case said the attacker had been recruited this year as part of the governor’s security detail.

No one had claimed his body, but his colleagues in the security team said his family members lived in the outskirts of Kandahar.


October 19, 2018 - Afghanistan delays vote in strategic Kandahar after killing Commander
U.S. general says he may not have been target of Kandahar attack | Reuters

Saturday’s parliamentary election in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar will be delayed by a week after the assassination of one of the country’s most powerful security chiefs dealt a stunning blow to the Western-backed government.

General Abdul Razeq, the Kandahar police commander, was killed outside the provincial governor’s office on Thursday, when a bodyguard opened fire on a group of officials as they left a meeting with General Scott Miller, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Miller was not wounded but the regional intelligence agency commander was killed and the provincial governor severely wounded, crippling the leadership of one of the country’s most strategically important provinces.

Although nominally a provincial police chief, Razeq was one of the most powerful political figures in Afghanistan and a formidable opponent of the Taliban, with unchallenged authority across the volatile south of the country.

The decision to suspend the vote was taken over the objections of some officials who warned that any delay would threaten the whole process and hand the Taliban a major propaganda victory.

Miller himself gave a show of confidence on Friday, filming a television interview on the street outside the U.S. embassy in Kabul and assuring Afghanistan of continued support.

“My message to the people of Afghanistan has been very consistent: you have every right to be proud of your security forces and the preparations that made for this election despite this unfortunate event, tragic event, down in Kandahar,” he said.


Saturday’s election has been seen as a major test of the government’s ability to organize a nationwide ballot ahead of the more important presidential election next April.

But the shock of Razeq’s death meant the people of Kandahar were “morally not ready to vote”, Hafizullah Hashimi, spokesman of the Independent Election Commission, said.

The Taliban issued a fresh warning not to vote on Friday, telling people to stay at home and saying they would shut down roads and would be “closely monitoring all developments”.

The United Nations mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) issued a statement of its own expressing concern at Taliban threats to attack schools and other buildings used as polling centers.

“UNAMA urges the Taliban to respect and protect civilians and not to threaten them or carry out violence,” it said.

On top of mounting security concerns, the elections have been dogged by technical and organizational problems, notably around the use of untested biometric voter verification equipment rushed in after allegations of widespread voter fraud.

PRECARIOUS
Thursday’s attack underlined how precarious the situation remains in Afghanistan after more than 17 years of war despite preliminary contacts between Taliban and U.S. officials to find a basis for future peace talks.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said it was too soon to say what effect Razeq’s death would have but added that the U.S. military’s mission was unaltered.

“We need to find who’s done this,” Mattis told reporters traveling with him in the Southeast Asian city-state of Singapore. “But right now, we are going toward the election and we will continue to defend the Afghan people.”

He said the attack would not affect U.S. military movements around Afghanistan or security arrangements for General Miller, who said he did not believe he was the target of the attack.

It was unclear how the attack would affect moves toward a peace process, following a meeting last week of Taliban officials and the U.S. special envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, but it complicates an already difficult situation.

“You’re going to start asking questions about, ‘Well, how trustworthy are they? What influence do they really have?’” said one former Defense Department official who left the Pentagon recently, referring to the Taliban.

“And you know the bottomline question is, ‘Why are we still dealing with them?’ or ‘Should we deal with them?’”

However Mattis said the U.S. aim of finding a negotiated political solution was unchanged.

“We remain absolutely committed to an Afghan-led Afghan reconciliation,” he said.

ELECTION THREAT
Miller, who knew Razeq well from his previous tours of duty in Afghanistan, issued a statement saluting a “great friend”.

“Afghanistan lost a patriot,” he said on Twitter. “The good he did for Afghanistan and the Afghan people cannot be undone.”

A disarmingly youthful-looking figure, with a toothy smile belying a fearsome reputation, the 39-year-old Razeq was regularly accused of building a fortune by extracting millions of dollars from traders and businesses.

He was also accused of torturing prisoners and other abuses, which he denied.

Last year, the United Nations Committee against Torture cited “numerous and credible allegations” that Razeq was complicit in severe human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings and secret detention centers.

He clashed frequently with President Ashraf Ghani, defying attempts to sack him, but was adept at navigating the region’s complex tribal politics and enjoyed popular support in Kandahar and the surrounding provinces.

He was also highly respected by U.S. officers who saw his ruthless methods as the most effective weapon against the Taliban in both Kandahar and the wider south.

“Razeq was, kind of, the embodiment of security, not just in Kandahar. It is Uruzgan, it’s Zabul province,” said the recently retired Defense Department official. “He had a lot of sway over other senior officials and certainly in the police.”


Fri Oct 19, 2018 - Pakistan Closes Afghanistan Border-Crossings at Kabul’s Request
Farsnews

The move comes at the request of the government in Kabul, which is worried about the security situation during parliamentary elections this weekend, RT reported.

The crossings will be closed on Friday and on Saturday – the day of the elections in Afghanistan – “for all kinds of traffic except emergency cases,” Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said.

One of the crossings is at Chaman, in Pakistan’s Southwestern Baluchistan province, which borders Afghanistan’s Kandahar province.

The powerful provincial chief was assassinated there on Thursday in an attack claimed by the Taliban.

The other crossing is at Torkham, in Northwestern Pakistan.

Afghanistan has routinely accused Pakistan of harboring Taliban insurgents, a charge Islamabad denies.


Fri Oct 19, 2018 - Russia Accuses US of Transferring ISIL from Syria to Afghanistan, Iraq
Farsnews

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the US government of transferring the ISIL terrorists from Syria to neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Moscow is concerned with Washington’s transfer of Daesh (ISIL) militants to Iraq and Afghanistan,” Lavrov said during a press conference, Interfax reported. “Russia calls on the US to explain relocation of Daesh fighters to Iraq and Afghanistan,” he added.

Russia has accused the United States of transferring Daesh terrorists to Afghanistan on a number of occasions in the past.

Washington has repeatedly denied these allegations from Moscow.
 

sToRmR1dR

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Three Blasts Rock Polling Stations in Afghan Capital of Kabul - Reports

Two attacks in northern Afghanistan have injured two women and scared voters going to vote in the country’s first parliamentary elections since 2010, provincial officials said.

"At this moment, we have data about three explosions, there is no confirmed information about the dead or injured," said a police department official.

Voters were seen fleeing from a school in the north of the Afghan capital after a blast, according to AFP, with witnesses talking about several explosions at other polling centers.

People are reportedly continuing to cast their votes amid at least three security incidents around polling stations in Kabul.

The deployment of Afghan National Security Forces has been increased from 50,000 military personnel to 70,000 across the country to protect the country's 21,000 polling stations, Afghanistan's Interior Ministry stated.

According to AFP reports, elections in the two provinces of Kandahar and Ghazni have been postponed as well as in 11 of the country's nearly 400 districts.

So far, none of the terrorist groups operating in the country has claimed responsibility for the explosions.

Afghans headed to the polls to elect members of the lower house of parliament for the first time since 2010. At least nine candidates have been killed since July 1.

The election was supposed to take place in 2016; however, it had been postponed because of the unstable security situation in the country.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused the US government of transferring the ISIL/Daesh terrorists from Syria to neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan. A formidable opponent against Daesh/Taliban, General Abdul Razeq, police commander of the southern province and one of Afghanistan’s most powerful security officials, were fatally shot - just after leaving a meeting with US General Scott Miller. Was Miller "in" on the assassination plot?


October 19, 2018 - US General says he may not have been target of Kandahar attack
U.S. general says he may not have been target of Kandahar attack | Reuters
The American Press is distorting the facts surrounding this security meeting and the Kandahar attack. The main purpose of the meeting was the upcoming Elections for this Saturday Oct. 20. The Election date is now pushed a week ahead - with no definite date given, as yet. Quotes from previous articles:

Quote: "The U.S. commander of Afghanistan’s NATO-led force, General Scott Miller, who was standing nearby when the attack occurred and was not hurt" is given the propaganda spin - he was the main target". First news reports coming out of the Middle East suggest this incident was a US/NATO pre-planned assassination?

Quote: "The gunman assassinated the police chief of Kandahar province on Thursday along with a top Afghan intelligence agency officer. In addition, the local head of the NDS intelligence service was killed and the provincial governor severely wounded, while the attacker himself was killed. Miller was also at the meeting and was heading to his helicopter ... to return to Kabul when the gunman opened fire." Note - only one gunman is highlighted - where the American Press spin is "their own guards"? The gunman didn't open fire until Miller was "out of the way" heading for his helicopter. Miller set them up - to be assassinated!

Quote: "Jabar Qahraman, an election candidate from Southern Helmand province was killed in an explosion at his office on Wednesday morning (Oct. 17), local officials confirmed. The incident took place at his campaign office in Lashkargah city. Since July 1, at least 9 candidates have been killed in attacks." So, any candidate who might pose a problem for NATO is being eliminated. And the American public can't figure out "how it is" that we're in Afghanistan for 17-18 years? It's NATO's home base!

Oct. 18, 2018 - 3 major Afghan officials assassinated by their own guards; top U.S. commander escapes
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-afghanistan-officials-killed-20181018-story.html



The head of NATO troops in Afghanistan, Gen. Scott Miller, center left, and Kandahar Gov. Zalmay Wesa, center right, and their delegations attend a security conference in Kandahar province on Oct. 18, 2018. The meeting was attacked and Wesa was killed, along with two other top Afghan officials. A Taliban spokesman said the target was Miller, who escaped without injury, according to NATO.
The head of NATO troops in Afghanistan, Gen. Scott Miller, center left, and Kandahar Gov. Zalmay Wesa, center right, and their delegations attend a security conference in Kandahar province on Oct. 18, 2018. The meeting was attacked and Wesa was killed, along with two other top Afghan officials. A Taliban spokesman said the target was Miller, who escaped without injury, according to NATO.
(Associated Press)

A high-level meeting on security plans for Afghanistan's parliamentary elections had just concluded when an elite Afghan guard turned his gun on the departing delegation Thursday, killing the powerful Kandahar police chief but missing the top U.S. commander in the country, Gen. Scott Miller.

At least one other senior Afghan official was killed in the audacious assassination strike that was claimed by the Taliban and underscored the harrowing insecurity in Afghanistan two days before the elections and more than 17 years after the militant group was driven from power. A Taliban spokesman said Miller was the intended target.

However, Army Col. David Butler, who attended the meeting with Miller, said the powerful Kandahar police chief, Abdul Raziq, was clearly the target, not the U.S. general.

"It was pretty clear he was shooting at Raziq," Butler told The Associated Press, adding that Miller was nearby but not in the line of fire.

The delegates had just gathered for a group photo when gunfire broke out inside the provincial governor's compound in Kandahar city, according to an AP television cameraman who was there. Everyone scattered, and the U.S. participants scrambled toward their helicopter. But a firefight broke out between the U.S. service members and Afghan police when they tried to stop the U.S. delegation from reaching their helicopter, said the cameraman.

Besides Raziq, Kandahar's intelligence chief, Abdul Mohmin was killed in the attack, according to deputy provincial governor Agha Lala Dastageri. He said Kandahar Gov. Zalmay Wesa also died after being taken to a hospital, although security officials in the capital maintained Wesa was wounded but survived.



Afghan General Abdul Raziq, police chief of Kandahar, poses for a picture during a graduation ceremony at a police training center in 2017. Raziq was killed in a Taliban-claimed attack on Oct. 18, 2018, when a gunman opened fire on a high-level security meeting attended by top U.S. commander Gen. Scott Miller. (Jawed Tanveer/AFP/Getty Images)

Three Americans — a U.S. service member, a coalition contractor and an American civilian — were injured and in stable condition, said NATO spokesman U.S. Col. Knut Peters.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said the militant group carried out the attack, and Miller was the target.

Butler, however, said the assailant shot at Raziq and then appeared to spray the area with gunfire before he was killed.

He said Miller and the Afghan leaders had moved outside the palace after several hours of meetings and were standing in small groups in the compound. He said he heard several shots "and we all took cover. It was over in seconds."

"We stabilized and treated the wounded and secured the area," said Butler, adding that Miller made sure the scene was secure and the wounded were taken away by medivac before he left the area and returned to Kabul.

Razik was a particularly powerful figure in southern Kandahar and a close U.S. ally despite widespread allegations of corruption. He ruled the former Taliban heartland with an iron fist and had survived several past assassination attempts, including one last year that killed five diplomats from the United Arab Emirates.



Kandahar Gov. Zalmay Wesa, left, stands with the head of NATO troops in Afghanistan, U.S. Gen. Scott Miller, and a translator, during a meeting, in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on Oct. 18, 2018. The three top officials in Afghanistan's Kandahar province were killed, including Wesa, when their own guards opened fire on them at the security conference. A Taliban spokesman said the target was Miller, who escaped without injury, according to NATO. (Associated Press)

Raziq's killing "may have major implications on the security situation in southern Afghanistan. As the chief of police in Kandahar, he has kept a lid on the Taliban's insurgency, which has intensified over the past several years," analyst Bill Roggio wrote in the Long War Journal.

The Taliban have vowed to disrupt Saturday's parliamentary elections, warning teachers and students not to allow schools to be used for polling and warning Afghans to stay away from the polls.

Within hours of the attack, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani addressed the nation to assure Kandahar residents it was safe to go to the polls. In an AP interview, his adviser, Ziaulhaq Amarkhil, said the attack was meant to disrupt elections and urged voters to defy Taliban threats, saying casting their ballot "would be a big slap on the face of the enemy."

At a news conference in Kabul, army chief Gen. Mohammad Sharif Yaftali said additional troops had been moved from neighboring Helmand province to Kandahar.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the killing of the Kandahar police chief is unlikely to fundamentally weaken the security situation. Speaking while in Singapore for a conference, Mattis called Raziq's death a tragic loss but said he believes the Afghan security forces have matured to the point where they can continue fighting the Taliban without him.

The U.N. Security Council condemned the attacks and others recently in Afghanistan and said violence or threats intended to disrupt the elections were unacceptable.

Pakistan's new prime minister, Imran Khan, and its military chief condemned the assault.

"The people and the security forces of Afghanistan have been paying a heavy price due to continued instability and threats from the enemies of peace," Khan said in a statement. "Pakistan stands by the government and the people of Afghanistan in their quest for lasting peace and stability."

Security has been steadily deteriorating in Afghanistan with increasingly brazen attacks being carried out by insurgents and Afghanistan's security forces have been on high alert ahead of Saturday's elections.

Late Wednesday, a NATO convoy was attacked near the Afghan capital, killing two civilians and injuring five Czech troops, Afghan officials and the Czech military said Thursday.

The attack in the Bagram district of Parwan province, also wounded three Afghan civilians, said Wahida Shakar, spokeswoman for the provincial governor.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in Bagram, which is the home of a sprawling U.S. military base.

In recent months, Afghan troops have come under near-daily attacks. NATO troops, which handed over security to Afghan forces at the end of 2014, mostly train and assist with air power.

So far this year, eight U.S. soldiers and three other NATO service members have died in Afghanistan.
 

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The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Three Blasts Rock Polling Stations in Afghan Capital of Kabul - Reports

Two attacks in northern Afghanistan have injured two women and scared voters going to vote in the country’s first parliamentary elections since 2010, provincial officials said.

"At this moment, we have data about three explosions, there is no confirmed information about the dead or injured," said a police department official.
Afghanistan: 15 dead in Kabul polling station suicide bombing

At least 15 people were killed and 25 wounded in a bombing at a polling station in the Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday, as the country's parliamentary elections got underway.

According to reports, at least 10 civilians and 5 police officers were killed in the bombing of the polling station in the northern part of the city.

Multiple explosions reportedly hit other polling stations, resulting in dozens of injured voters.

The elections, which are already three years late, have been marred by violence and further delays. The Taliban and Daesh have been intimidating potential voters to stay at home and boycott the elections.


192 ATTACKS THROUGHOUT AFGHANISTAN ON ELECTION DAY

October 20, Afghanistan’s Minister of Interior Wais Barmak told the TOLO TV that militants carried out 192 attacks throughout Afghanistan in an attempt to sabotage the long-awaited parliamentary elections.

The attacks didn’t stop the election process. However, it resulted in the death of at least 17 civilians and the injury of 83 others. Barmak also revealed that the Afghan National Police lost 10 of its personnel in different attacks, while securing the elections.

The Afghan capital of Kabul witnessed the most brutal attack. Afghan sources reported that a suicide bomber blew himself up outside of a polling stations killing 10 civilians and 5 policemen. Despite of the attack, the election process continued in the capital.

In an official statement released by Taliban’s spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, the Afghan group claimed responsibility for 166 attacks on polling stations and other facilities around the country. Furthermore, Mujahid claimed that the election process was halted in many regions as a result of these attacks.

“Looking at the operations by the Mujahedeen of Islamic Emirate up until noon time today, we can confidently say that this electoral process was a merely a regime process with only regime workers participating. The rest of the nation announced a boycott and the Mujahedeen have also been successful in neutralizing the enemy plot,” Mujahid said in the statement.​

Despite Taliban attempts to sabotage the elections, the Afghan Independent Election Commission (IEC) stated that approximately 3 million registered voters had cast their ballot, out of supposed 9 million. The number is considered a success considering the situation in the war torn country that delayed the elections for three years. However, the attacks confirm that the Afghan government is still incapable of securing the country on its own.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Why wasn't this mentioned in earlier reports - instead of waiting 4 days after the attack?

The officials in the US Department Defense, Pentagon, have confirmed that a US General had also sustained injuries during last week’s deadly incident in Southern Kandahar province.

Mon Oct 22, 2018 - Pentagon: US General Also Wounded in Kandahar Incident
Farsnews

The US General wounded in the attack has been identified as US Army Brigadier General Jeffrey Smiley, Khaama Press reported.

Navy Commander Grant Neeley, a spokesman for the NATO Resolute Support mission, has told the US media “I can confirm that he is recovering from a gunshot wound he received during the attack in Kandahar.”

“He is being treated at a Resolute Support hospital in Kandahar,” Neeley added.

The incident in Southern Kandahar province last Thursday left the Police Chief of the province Gen. Abdul Raziq dead along with the provincial intelligence chief Gen. Abdul Momin Hussain Khel.

The provincial Governor of Kandahar Zalmay Weesa also sustained injuries in the attack along with some other individuals.

The Taliban group in Afghanistan claimed the assassination of Gen. Raziq and Kandahar intelligence chief.


21.10.2018 - Local Taliban Leader killed in Eastern Afghanistan - Reports
Local Taliban Leader Killed in Eastern Afghanistan - Reports

A shadow district administrative chief of the Taliban* movement was killed in a US-led coalition strike in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province, Khaama Press reported on Sunday.

Taliban shadow district chief for Hesarak district Abdul Jabar and six other militants were killed in a drone strike on Saturday,
according to the Khaama Press news agency citing the provincial government press office.
 

angelburst29

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October 22, 2018 - Brother appointed to succeed killed Afghan Commander
Brother appointed to succeed killed Afghan commander | Reuters


FILE PHOTO: People attend a burial ceremony of General Abdul Razeq, the Kandahar police commander, who was killed in an attack, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan October 19, 2018. REUTERS/Ismail Sameem/File Photo

The brother of the powerful police commander of the southern Afghan province of Kandahar assassinated last week was named as his successor on Monday in move that underlines the pressures facing President Ashraf Ghani's government.

General Abdul Razeq, one of Afghanistan’s most feared anti-Taliban commanders, was shot dead when a member of the provincial governor’s bodyguard opened fire on officials leaving a meeting with NATO forces commander General Scott Miller.

Razeq, nominally the Kandahar police chief, was one of the most powerful figures in the whole of southern Afghanistan.

He had a range of business interests and was accused of extracting millions of dollars from the border crossing into Pakistan at Spin Boldak, his home region and power base.

A member of the powerful Pashtun Achakzai tribe and a skillful operator in the region’s complex tribal politics, he regularly clashed with Ghani’s government in Kabul but enjoyed wide support and was impossible to remove.

The nomination of Razeq’s younger brother Tadeen Khan as acting police chief of Kandahar followed heavy pressure from powerful tribal elders who forced the government to overlook his lack of experience and training.

Ghani’s government initially rejected the demand on the grounds that Khan lacked qualifications, a senior Afghan official said, but gave way after the Achakzais threatened to boycott parliamentary elections.

“Ghani knows he will need the support of many tribes to retain power, so he has to listen to them and accept their demands,” said Abdul Rashid Khan a political science professor at Kabul University.

Parliamentary elections, a dry run for the more important presidential election next year, will be held in Kandahar on Saturday after they were postponed for a week following Razeq’s death in an insider attack at the provincial governor’s office.

His death left a power vacuum in Kandahar, one of the most strategically important provinces in Afghanistan, on the southeastern border with Pakistan.

“It would require a lot of consultations and appeasement to convince general Razeq’s supporters and his tribe to approve someone else as the police chief,” said a senior government official as he explained the reason behind Khan’s appointment.
 

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The Living Force
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In unusual move, Army trainers will leave Afghanistan, return months later to help next unit

About 100 members of a U.S. Army training brigade scheduled to leave Afghanistan next month will take the unusual step of returning in February to help the next unit of advisers coming in, U.S. military officials said.

The advisers’ return is intended to help compensate for a monthslong break in the training of Afghan forces, between the time the first unit leaves and the second brigade arrives next year. It comes amid a surge in Taliban violence as Afghanistan enters its 18th year of war, and reflects concerns that progress made by the first brigade of elite Army advisers could be eroded by the pause in training.

Army Gen. Robert Abrams, head of U.S. Army Forces Command, who oversaw the creation of the training brigades, said the initial plan was to “accept the risk of having a gap” during the usually quieter winter season.

That way, the units doing a nine-month tour wouldn’t eventually have to change over in the peak summer fighting time. But he said the Army approved sending the advisers back to Afghanistan to serve the first three weeks with the 2nd Brigade when it deploys.

Army Brig. Gen. Scott Jackson, who leads the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade currently in Afghanistan, will return to the warfront with his soldiers. The goal, he said, is to help the incoming unit “understand their areas of operation, see our best practices and, most importantly, personally hand off the relationships with our Afghan partners that are critical to successful conventional force advising.”

Some of his advisers, he said, will also help train the new unit in January before it deploys.

Abrams also said some members of the 2nd Brigade will go to Afghanistan next month for a couple weeks to see it firsthand. “It’s one thing to read a report, this way they can live it,” he said.

“This is fundamentally about knowledge transfer,” Abrams said. He said members of the 1st Brigade volunteered to return to Afghanistan because they want the program to succeed.

“Even though they will have just recently redeployed, they’re willing to go back to Afghanistan for a couple more weeks just to help them transition because they’ve got so much investment in it,” said Abrams, who will soon move to take over U.S. Forces Korea.

Development of the new Army advisory brigades began early last year, designed to create permanent military training teams that can be deployed worldwide to help local forces better learn how to fight. It’s a reflection of the new reality of America at war: Army soldiers advising and building indigenous security forces, not doing the fighting for them on foreign soil.

There are about 14,000 U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

The Army plans to build six training brigades, with about 800 soldiers each, over the next few years.

Already the 1st Brigade has suffered casualties when their Afghan partners turned on them. Two brigade soldiers were killed and three wounded in two separate attacks this summer.

Abrams said the 2nd Brigade has gone through additional security instruction, and overall time at the training academy was doubled to 30 days. Language training has also been expanded.

“The more successful we are, the more desperate our enemy becomes,” said Abrams. “So, it’s going to be a challenge.”
 
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