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Monday, August 31, 2015

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Taliban Admits Covering Up 2013
Death Of Leader Mullah Omar


"Mullah Omar"

By RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan

August 31, 2015

The Taliban has admitted that it covered up the death of its leader Mullah Mohammad Omar for more than two years, confirming that he died in 2013 as was first claimed by Afghanistan’s intelligence.

The militant group had continued issuing statements until as recently as July in the name of Mullah Omar, who had not been seen in public since the Taliban were toppled from power in Kabul in late 2001.

The Taliban statement on August 31 gave an exact date for Mullah Omar’s death for the first time, saying he died on April 23, 2013.

The detail was buried in a biography of the new Afghan Taliban leader, Mullah Akhtar Mansur.

It said "several key members of the supreme leading council" of the Taliban and religious scholars "together decided on concealing" Mullah Omar’s death and keeping the secret limited to his innermost circle.

It said a main reason for the decision was NATO's announcement that it would conclude combat missions in Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

With reporting by AFP


Taliban release biography of
Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour

Khaama Press / August 31, 2015

In the preface of the biography, it has been reiterated that Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour is the legitimate leader of the Taliban.

The biography begins with the Date of Birth and Place of Birth of Mullah Mansour.

It states that he was born in 1968 in Band-i-TAimoor village of Maiwand District of southern Kandahar province

According to the biography when Soviets invaded Afghanistan, Mullah Mansour left his religious education unfinished and joined the ‘Jihad’against them.

It adds that after the collapse of Soviet Union he put down his arms and when Taliban took over the country he joined the Taliban ranks and worked on different posts including the minister for aviation and tourism.

According to the information, Mullah Mansour again took his arm to fight when their regime was collapsed in 2001. Besides being a member of Taliban’s central Shura (council) he was given deferent responsibilities. When Mullah Ombaidullah Akhund was arrested, Mullah Mansour was then appointed as the second deputy to Mullah Mohammad Omar.

The information further states that when Mullah Obaidullah Akhund died in the captivity of Pakistani forces in 2010 and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was arrested, Mullah Mansour was then appointed as the deputy head and general in-charge of all operational activities.

It further states that when Mulllah Omar died on 23rd April 2013 and several key members of the Taliban Shura decided to conceal the death of Mullah Omar.

According to the released information, this news was kept secret until 30th July 2015 after which majority of the Shura decided to announce Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour as the replacement for Mullah Omar.


U.S. Presses Pakistan On Peace
Talks; Invites PM To Washington

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

August 31, 2015

The United States is urging Pakistan to help restart peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban insurgents.

U.S. national security adviser Susan Rice met on August 30 in Islamabad with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and military chief Raheel Sharif to discuss security issues in the region.

Rice was said to be seeking Pakistan's help in getting Afghan and Taliban officials to meet for the first time since July 7.

A second round of talks between the two sides was cancelled following the July 29 announcement that Taliban leader Mullah Omar had died in 2013.

The Taliban has stepped up attacks on Afghan security forces since the announcement of Omar's death.

Meanwhile, Rice said that President Barack Obama has invited Prime Minister Sharif to visit the White House in October.

Rice made the announcement in an August 30 tweet, saying she had "conveyed" the invitation to Sharif during her meeting in Islamabad.

A Pakistani army statement said Rice and Sharif "recognized the continued need for close coordination for ensuring peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region."

Based on reporting by dpa, Reuters, and AP


Suspected gas poisoning hits
girl school in W. Afghanistan

HERAT, Afghanistan, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- More than 100 girl students were hospitalized following a possible gas poisoning at a school in Herat city, capital of Afghanistan's western province of Herat on Monday, an official said.

"Some 100 students of a local high school were hospitalized Monday morning after they felt dizzy and several had fallen unconscious," a provincial hospital spokesman Raffiq Shirzai told Xinhua.

The incident took place in Shahrak-e-Jibrahil locality of the city. Police have initiated an investigation to find the fact behind the incident, the source added.

No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the incident so far. Radical groups and anti-government militants, who oppose girl education, had in the past been blamed for such attacks.


70 militants, 8 soldiers killed in
clashes in Afghanistan within day

KABUL, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- Some 70 militants and eight soldiers have been killed during military operations and clashes cross Afghanistan, the Afghan Defense Ministry said on Monday morning.

"Within the past 24 hours, 70 terrorists were killed, 43 wounded and one terrorist was detained in different places of the country while eight Afghan army personnel were also martyred during the same period," the ministry said in a statement.

The army specialists found and defused several roadside bombs and landmines and army personnel seized big amount of ammunition and weapons over the same period, according to the statement.

The Taliban militant group has yet to make comments.


Provincial official survives attempt on life in S. Afghanistan

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- The director of Culture Department in Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province survived but was badly injured after unknown armed men opened fire on his car on Monday, spokesman for provincial government, Samim Khapalwak said.

"Hazrat Wali Hotak was on way to office this morning when three unknown armed men riding a motorbike sprayed bullets on his car in provincial capital the Kandahar city and made their good escape," Khapalwak told reporters here.

Hotak has been taken to hospital for medical treatment, the official added.

No group or individuals have claimed of responsibility for the attack. However, Khapalwak put the attack on the enemies of peace, a reference to the Taliban for organizing the attack.


Afghanistan U-19 beats UAE U-19 by 10 wickets

Khaama Press / August 31, 2015

Afghanistan’s U-19 cricket team has beaten the United Arab Emirates (UAE) U-19 cricket team by 10 wickets in the Asian Premiere League.

UAE won the toss and chose to bat first but lost all of their players very quick. They made only 88 runs.

Tariq Khan took the most wickets for Afghanistan. He took 5 wickets and became the player of the match for which he received an award.

When Afghanistan went to the ground to bat, they were able to chase the target very easily.

In the 13th over of the inning they were able to hit the target and defeat UAE by 10 wickets.

This victory keeps Afghanistan Under-19 at the top of the table of Asian Premiere League.

Shafiqullah Stanekzai, CEO of Afghanistan Cricket Board while expressing his gratitude over the victory said that this will have a positive impact on the team.

“The result of these games will have positive impact on other young stars in the country and will motivate them to work hard for getting place in the national sides,” he said.

“The huge victories of the young stars will bring the attention of ICC more towards Afghanistan,” said Nasimullah Danish the chairman of Afghanistan Cricket Board.

“Such performances will help us reach our goals more easily,” he added.

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