04 June 2020

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Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Mazar-e-Sharif (BNA) The Shaheen army corps reported from killing of five Taliban terrorists in Balkh.
BNA quoting from army corps press release, the commando forces conducting clearing operation in Jarkhoshk village, Koshenda district, Balkh , in which five Taliban terrorists were killed and two others have been injured.
According to the press release, no any harm and casualties incurred to civilians and security troops in the operation.
T. Yarzada

Tuesday, May 19,2020
Kabul (BNA) The President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, paid a visit to the headquarter of the Ministry of Interior and met with the leadership and members of the special units of the National Police forces, a statement said. At the meeting, Lt. Gen. Mohammad Massoud Andarabi, acting minister of the Interior, thanked the President for his continued attention to all security and defense forces, especially the Afghan police, and said that the national police across the country fighting against the Taliban and other terrorists, criminals and smugglers, the presidential palace statement added. Addressing the leadership of the Ministry of Interior, the President said that the families of the martyrs should not be forgotten, because they are an example and inspiration to other forces in order to protect the homeland and the people.
The Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces emphasized that the memory of the martyrs is always eternal and added that he thanked the leadership of the Ministry of Interior for paying attention to the construction of the memorial minaret of the martyrs of the National Police. "Today we are in a situation where the majority of Afghan and Islamic scholars do not allow the current imposed war and the Taliban have made a pact with the international forces, but they are attacking people and the security and defense forces of their country which is unjustifiable,” the president said, as quoted in the statement.
The president said that Afghan forces switched to offensive mode after recent security incidents in Kabul, Paktia, Nangarhar and Faryab provinces, adding that the militants’ attacks were indeed a departure from peace, Islamic and human values. President Ghani said: "I am proud to be the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
I will stand with you until the last drop of blood, the security and defense forces are our heroes and no deal will be made on them.” The president pointed out that maintaining the security and supporting the defense forces is the duty of all politicians and the people, adding that the nation stands beside their forces. Stating that the Interior Ministry's proposals for more funding and equipment for the National Police are being considered, the President said that the discipline, the way they work and the classification of risks by them will increase their chances of success. He added that the police want support and that more reforms will be made to make the national police more proud.
The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces emphasized that there is more investment in the National Police, especially in certain areas, because we have a common commitment to the people, the land and Islamic and human values, and in all these cases my absolute support is with you. Speaking at the meeting, Commander of the Special Police Unit said: "We will stand up for the defense of the homeland and the people till our last drop of the blood.” He also said that would do more to protect the country.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Kabul (BNA) India welcomed the deal between President Ghani and his rival Dr. Abdullah Abdullah after months of a bitter dispute over the results of last year's presidential election that pushed the country into a political crisis. In its reaction, India hoped the political agreement and creation of a council for national reconciliation will result in renewed efforts for establishing enduring peace and stability, and putting an end to externally sponsored terrorism and violence in Afghanistan.
"India welcomes the political agreement concluded by the political leadership in Kabul today," the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
It said India is concerned over continuing violence and terror attacks in Afghanistan and called for an immediate ceasefire as well as assistance to people reeling under the coronavirus pandemic. Iran’s Foreign Ministry has also expressed readiness to help boost negotiations between Afghan parties over political issues. Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said that Tehran is ready to assist Kabul in the process of intra-Afghan political talks and continued alliance of Afghan groups, including the Taliban.
Mousavi also welcomed and expressed satisfaction over the signing of an agreement between President Ghani and Dr. Abdullah, the head of Afghanistan's National Reconciliation High Council. In a statement, The General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) welcomed the agreement reached between President Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah.
The OIC General Secretariat expressed hope that the agreement would bring security and stability to the country and serve the goal of fulfilling the aspirations of the Afghan people.
The OIC reaffirmed its support for and solidarity with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the new government for the well-being, prosperity and development of the entire country.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Kabul (BNA) Heads of security agencies at a press conference on Monday here at the government media and information center said that back the change from "active defense mode" -- which was intended as a means of reducing violence following the signing of the US-Taliban deal--to "offense mode," which President Ghani called for days ago in the wake of shocking attacks that took dozens of civilian lives in Kabul and Nangarhar provinces. Speaking at the conference, acting Interior Minister Gen. Massoud Andarabi said the Taliban has conducted “over 3,800 attacks against the Afghan people and the Afghan government,” and that the group cannot avoid blame for its “crimes” simply by not claiming attacks.
Hinting to a bomb blast on a National Directorate of Security (NDS) facility in the central province of Ghazni that martyred eight security force members and the Taliban claimed the attack, Minister Andarabi said that historical sites were damaged in the attack. Defending the government’s offensive operations against the Taliban, the interior minister said the Taliban "provides opportunities for other militant groups to operate in Afghanistan."
He added that the Afghan forces are fighting for peace, while "the Taliban is continuing the war on behalf of strangers." Meanwhile, Ahmad Zia Saraj, the acting head of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), provided figures on the Taliban’s links with terrorist groups in the region. Saraj said the Afghan government has always called for peace but “the Taliban has rejected the call for peace,” adding the US-Taliban deal raised hopes for peace but, regretfully, one part--the reduction in violence--was not implemented by the group. He said the Taliban has increased violence and has been seeking to recruit new members. He added that "the Taliban is not thinking about peace, but war." Saraj briefed the reporters on a recent operation by NDS forces to arrest a key Daesh member, Aslam Farooqi, and other operations to destroy Daesh hideouts around Kabul. The Taliban’s ties with foreign terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba “have improved” and intense conflicts are ongoing in various parts of the country, Saraj said. According to him, one of those arrested from a Daesh hideout in the north of Kabul “was a Haqqani network member.” The acting NDS chief said the Taliban attacked Afghans’ culture by targeting the security forces in Ghazni, who were deployed to safeguard historical sites. Saraj said Daesh’s main command centers have been destroyed and that attacks in some parts are carried out by small groups of Daesh that have four to five members. Another official at the press conference was Army Chief of Staff Gen. Bismillah Waziri, who said the people expect the Afghan forces to defend them; therefore, they started ground and air operations and will continue until new orders are given. Waziri said that measures have been taken in all government operations to prevent civilian casualties.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Kabul (BNA) The Ministry of Public Health on Sunday said that it has registered 408 new positive cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the total positive cases to 7,072 in the country.
The number of total active cases in Afghanistan is 6,098, said the MoPH. According to the Health Ministry, three people lost their lives over the past 24 hours and 23 more recovered.
The known death toll from coronavirus is now 173 deaths.
The total number of recoveries is 801. The new cases, according to the ministry, were reported in Kabul (162), Herat (95), Balkh (31), Takhar (20), Khost (19), Parwan (18), Paktia (15), Logar (7), Wardak (8), Baghlan (6), Laghman (1), Ghor (5), Kunduz (3), Panjshir (3), Kapisa (2), Paktika (4), Kunar (4) and Daikundi (5). The ministry officials have again called on Afghans to take the virus seriously to curb its further spread. So far, 23,497 people have been tested in the country.
The number of deaths from COVID-19 globally is more than 315,283, and 4,718,215 have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Sunday May 17, 2020
Kabul (BNA) Kazakhstan will send food products to Afghanistan as humanitarian aid, Trend reports with reference to Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The topic was discussed during a phone call between Kazakhstan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mukhtar Tleuberdi and Afghanistan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Hanif Atmar.
The parties discussed future prospects of Kazakh-Afghan cooperation in political, trade and economic, and humanitarian areas.
Tleuberdi also informed Atmar on Kazakhstan’s decision to provide Afghanistan with humanitarian aid. In turn, Atmar expressed gratitude and noted that the Afghan side appreciates the assistance provided by Kazakhstan’s government.
He also said that Afghanistan is interested in importing grain and products of its processing from Kazakhstan. He further expressed Afghanistan’s interest in strengthening cooperation in the transit, transport and energy sectors, as well as in continuing the educational program offered by Kazakhstan for Afghan citizens.
Earlier this month Kazakhstan has sent humanitarian aid to Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan as part of provided support to countries during the COVID-19 outbreak.
On March 15, 2020, Kazakhstan’s president signed a decree introducing an emergency state in Kazakhstan due to the coronavirus outbreak, which came in force on March 16 and was to last till April 15, 2020.
Later, by a decree of Kazakhstan's president, the emergency state period in Kazakhstan was extended till May 1, 2020, and then till May 11, 2020.
The first two cases of coronavirus infection were detected in Kazakhstan among those who arrived in Almaty city from Germany on March 13, 2020.
The total number of coronavirus cases confirmed in Kazakhstan since the virus was first confirmed in the country amounted to 5,689 cases. This includes 2,639 people who recovered from the coronavirus, and 34 patients who passed away.


Sunday May 17, 2020
Kabul (BNA) The United States is on track to meet its commitment to the Taliban to withdraw several thousand troops from Afghanistan by mid-July, even as violence flares, the peace process is stalled, and Kabul struggles in political deadlock.
US officials say they will reduce to 8,600 troops by July 15 and abandon five bases. By the second quarter of 2021, all foreign forces are supposed to withdraw, ending the US's longest war. Yet the outlook for peace is cloudy at best. In the absence of Afghan peace talks, the administration of US President Donald Trump may face the prospect of fully withdrawing even as the Taliban remains at war with the government.
That has concerned some lawmakers, including Representative Liz Cheney, a Republican and member of the House Armed Services Committee.
She says the US needs to keep a military and intelligence presence in Afghanistan to prevent groups like al-Qaeda and the ISIL's Afghan affiliate from forming havens from which to attack the US
"Withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan won't end the war - it will just let the terrorists win," she told The Associated Press.
Serious negotiation?
Some question whether the US - Taliban agreement signed in Doha, Qatar, on February 29, which the Trump administration billed as "a decisive step to achieve a negotiated peace", was instead mainly a withdrawal agreement. Trump had campaigned on bringing troops home from foreign wars. And although the Afghan government publicly supported the deal, it did not participate directly in the negotiations and has not, in Washington's view, capitalised on the chance for peace talks.
"President Trump promised to bring our troops home from overseas and is following through on that promise," the White House said when the Doha deal was signed.
The deal stipulated that the Taliban would start intra-Afghan peace negotiations on March 10, but that has not happened. The Taliban and the Afghan government also have squabbled over a promised release of each other's prisoners.
"A lot of this boils down to: Was the US -Taliban agreement any kind of serious negotiation at all, or was it just totally a fig leaf to cover abject withdrawal? I suspect the latter," Stephen Biddle, a Columbia University professor of international and public affairs and a former adviser to US commanders in Kabul, told the Associated Press.
"It gave away almost all the leverage we had in exchange for virtually nothing," he added. "It looks very much like a situation in which the Taliban have concluded that the Americans are out, and they're going to play out the string and see what happens when we're gone."
The US has been the prime backer of the Afghan government since it invaded the country soon after the September 11, 2001, attacks and overthrew the Taliban.
According to US government auditors, Washington has committed $86bn to support Afghan security forces and is still spending about $4bn a year.
The Trump administration has expressed frustration with the lack of movement toward peace talks, but it has not threatened publicly to pull back from its commitment to fully withdraw. It did conduct an air attack against the Taliban in defence of Afghan ground forces in early March just hours after Trump had what he called a good conversation by phone with a senior Taliban leader, Abdul Ghani Baradar.
Although the withdrawal is required by the Doha agreement, US defence officials had said for many months that they wanted to reduce to 8,600 - the approximate number of troops that were supporting Afghan forces and conducting counterterrorism operations when Trump took office.
US officials constructed the Doha agreement mainly as a way of ending US involvement in the war, rather than as an assured path to peace. The withdrawal is subject to Taliban assurances, but it does not require a peace settlement.
The deal also is seen by the US as a way to enlist the Taliban in the fight against the ISIL (ISIS) group. The US military considers the group's Afghan affiliate as a greater threat than the Taliban.
The US agreed to withdraw not just military forces but also all intelligence agency personnel, private security contractors, trainers and advisers. NATO allied forces also are to withdraw.
The Doha deal was seen at the time as Afghanistan's best chance at peace in decades of war, but the government has since been consumed with political turmoil. Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah have both declared themselves winners of last year's presidential polls, and each declared himself president.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper has said that getting out of Afghanistan would advance his aim of devoting more forces to the Asia-Pacific region to counter China, which he sees as the number one long-term threat to the US.
Esper has been sceptical of the Taliban's commitment to peace, and on May 5 he said neither the Taliban nor the Afghan government is abiding by the agreement.
Esper said the Taliban should return to the reduced levels of violence that existed in the week before the February 29 Doha signing.
At the time, Ghani put his government forces in a defensive stance, but on Tuesday he ordered a return to the offensive, expressing anger for two attacks, including one that killed 24 people, including infants, at a hospital.
The Taliban denied responsibility and the US has blamed the ISIL affiliate in Afghanistan for the attack. The Taliban on Thursday said it had carried out a suicide bombing as retaliation for having been falsely accused by Ghani.
A Pentagon spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Campbell, indicated the US stance has not changed.
"Consistent with the agreement, the US military will continue to conduct defensive strikes against the Taliban when they attack our [Afghan] partners," he said Wednesday. "As the secretary of defence stated recently, this is going to be a windy, bumpy road, but a political agreement is the best way to end the war."

Sunday May 17, 2020
JALALABAD CITY (BNA) At least 10 Taliban militants were killed during recent attacks carried out by Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) in eastern Nangarhar province within the last 24 hours.
Sylab army corps in a statement reported that the raids conducted by Afghan security forces in different parts of Khogyani and Koot districts of Nangarhar, as a result 10 insurgents were killed and four others were wounded.
According to another report, a weapon storage belonged to Taliban group have seized in Acheen district of Nangarhar province.
Police officials say, heavy and light weapons, bombs, mines and some explosive materials have seized from the storage.
Meanwhile, Afghan police personnel by discovering and naturalizing 15 round of different type of mines succeeded to prevent several bloodiest incidents in crowded areas of Nangarhar province.
Taliban fighters are responsible for the foiled mine plantings, police said.


Sunday May 17, 2020
ASADABAD CITY (BNA) Humanitarian aids have been distributed to destitute and poor families in eastern Kunar province the other day.
Members of the families lost their jobs during outbreak of COVID-19 and are faced with economic problems.
Press office of Kunar governor in a statement issued that in this round 400 needy families have received foodstuffs included flour, cooking ghee and rice.


Sunday May 17, 2020
SHARANA CITY (BNA) More than 31 armed oppositions were killed and six others were wounded during a joint military operation conducted by Afghan security forces in eastern Paktika province.
Ministry of Interior by releasing a statement reported that the joint military operation have launched by Afghan security forces in Kharbin area, Yosuf Khail district of Paktika province, in which 31 Taliban fighters were killed and six more were wounded.
Some heavy and light weapons, ammunition and military equipment belonged to the insurgents have been seized during the military operation as well, the source added.

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