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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

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Taliban suicide attack wounds 3
Afghan police, forces kill 37 militants

KABUL, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- A suicide car bomb organized by Taliban militants in the troubled southern Helmand province claimed the life of the attacker and injured three personnel of Border Police Force, on Wednesday, spokesman for provincial government, Omar Zawak said.

The suicide attack, according to the official happened outside Helmand's provincial capital Lashkar Gah 555 km south of the national capital Kabul to eliminate Border Police Forces' commander Sultan Mahmoud.

"A suicide bomber driving an explosive-laden car blew himself up next to the vehicle of Border Police Forces' commander Sultan Mahmoud at around 07:00 a.m. local time today as a result the bomber was killed and three police bodyguards of the commander sustained injuries," spokesman for provincial government, Omar Zawak told reporters.

The commander Mahmoud escaped unhurt, the official asserted.

Taliban militants, fighting the government in an online statement claimed of responsibility for the attack, insisting a a suicide bomber, Sadam blew himself up killing seven police and injuring nine others; while the fate of commander Sultan Mahmoud is unknown.

Notorious for poppy cultivation and militancy, Helmand has been regarded as a Taliban hotbed in conflict-ridden Afghanistan.

Meantime, units of Afghan police backed by the army have killed more than three dozen Taliban militants during series of operations across the strife-torn country over the past 24 hours, Ministry of Interior said in a statement released here on Wednesday.

"National Police in conjunction with army and intelligence agency have conducted several anti-terrorism joint operations across the country during which 37 armed Taliban militants have been killed, six wounded and 10 others arrested," the statement said.

During the operations, according to the statement, the troops have also discovered and seized a good quantity of arms and ammunitions including explosive objects.

The statement didn't say if there were casualties on the security personnel. Taliban militants haven't made comment.


37 militants killed in
Afghanistan in past 24 hours: MoI

KABUL, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- Units of Afghan police backed by the army have killed more than three dozen Taliban militants during series of operations across the strife-torn country over the past 24 hours, Ministry of Interior said in a statement released here on Wednesday.

"National Police in conjunction with army and intelligence agency have conducted several anti-terrorism joint operations across the country during which 37 armed Taliban militants have been killed, six wounded and 10 others arrested," the statement said.

During the operations, according to the statement, the troops have also discovered and seized a good quantity of arms and ammunitions including explosive objects.

The statement didn't say if there were casualties on the security personnel. Taliban militants haven't made comment.


Taliban leader held in murder of German
tourist, 14 civilians in Ghor

Khaama Press / October 22, 2014

The Afghan intelligence – National Directorate of Security (NDS) said Wednesday that a notorious Taliban commander involved in execution of 14 civilians a German tourist, was arrested during an operation in Ghor province.

A statement released by NDS said, the detained Taliban leader was identified as Jan Mohammad, who was responsible for transferring financial facilities of Taliban from Pakistan to Ghor province.

The statement further added that the Jan Mohammad was also in charge of providing military uniforms for commanders of Taliban each Farooq and Mullah Alawodin in Darai Marghab.

“The arrested terrorist confessed that he was an organizer of the cruel killing of 14 passengers in the Badgah village of Ghor province. He was also involved in killing a German tourist with his driver,” NDS said.

NDS also added in its statement that three civilians were rescued from kidnappers during a separate operation in western Farah province.

In a separate operation, a terrorist was arrested along with ten antipersonnel mines and 500 KG explosives in Helmand province, NDS said, adding that four terrorists, including a citizen of Tajikistan arrested with 10 rounds of BM1 in Kabul province.

In another operation in eastern Khost province, Afghan intelligence operatives arrested six terrorists along with large number of weapon and ammunition. Another terrorist was arrested and one AK47, four Pistols, 300 rounds of PK, 460 rounds of Makarov and 11 rounds of RPG were seized in Baghlan province.


Suspects arrested for supporting
ISIS – Daesh in capital Kabul

Khaama Press / October 22, 2014

A group of individuals have been arrested by Afghan security forces who were apparently supporting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in capital Kabul.

According to the security officials, the individuals were writing slogans in support of Islamic State in the walls of Kabul university.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Interior (MoI), Najeeb Danish has said that the individuals were arrested after they were identified in CC TV cameras.

This comes as insurgents belonging to a faction of the Hezb-e-Islami led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar said earlier in September that they consider to join the Islamic State militants who are currently fighting in Syria and Iraq.

However, it is believed that the university students are involved behind the propaganda as the security officials are saying that the Islamic State has not managed to infiltrate in Afghanistan so far.

In the meantime, Danish is saying that an investigation has been launched and further details will be released once the security institutions completes their work.


News Analysis: Peace call from
Afghan gov't to Taliban fall on deaf ears

KABUL, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- It seems that the recent call by new Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani for the Taliban militants to give the peace process a chance has fallen on deaf ears as the insurgent group staged a roadside bomb attack in the fortified Afghan capital Kabul Tuesday morning, killing at least four army personnel and injuring 12 others, including half a dozen civilians.

According to defense ministry officials and eyewitnesses, the Taliban used a remotely controlled bomb that targeted a bus carrying national army personnel while it was cruising in a busy road.

The Taliban militants, who had claimed of responsibility for the deadly attack, said that the explosive device was placed in a vase on the pavement of the road. It exploded as the bus passed by, instantly killing the four army personnel.

Earlier, Ghani announced that one of the priorities of his unity government would be to reopen talks with the Taliban as he called on the insurgent group to respond positively to the peace dialogue that has been started by the previous administration. "Political disputes should be solved through political means since war is not the solution," President Ghani said.

But Afghan political observers said that the Taliban militants, after losing hope in winning the war, have resorted to the deadly suicide attacks and roadside bombings in the capital and in the provinces. "It is very difficult to check suicide attacks, because it is impossible to frisk every passerby or search every car," retired army Brigadier Sayed Jahangir told Xinhua.

Since the beginning of October, the Taliban has conducted series of suicide attacks, including six in the capital city of Kabul which had claimed 40 lives and injured dozens others.

On Oct. 13, a suicide attack apparently aimed at a convoy of the NATO-led forces in Kabul killed one civilian and wounded three others.

Last Saturday, the militants, in a suicide car bomb against the joint convoy of army and police in the Taliban former stronghold, the southern Helmand province, also killed two security personnel and injured seven others, spokesman for provincial government Omar Zawak said.

On Oct. 15, a car bomb went off in the eastern Khost province killing five security personnel and wounding five others, spokesman for provincial government Mubariz Zadran said.

Although there are no official statistics on the number of Afghan security forces killed this year, media reports said the number could reach 7,000 with majority of them killed by suicide attacks and roadside bombings, a figure higher than that of last year.

Afghan defense ministry spokesman Zahir Azimi has told the local media that certain mistakes by the personnel of national army have resulted in the increase of casualties in the government side.

Experts said that there is a need for more coordination and harmony among the branches of the country's security apparatus to prevent the Taliban from carrying their deadly attacks. "The government has to ensure coordination among the security organs, monitor militants' activities and should closely examine the flaws and weak points in the armed forces to reduce casualties on their side," political analyst Jawed Kohistani told local media recently.

A security expert, Mohammad Akram Basharyar, said "Preferring professionalism and respecting discipline in appointing officers in key posts in security organs and replacing unskilled officers with skilled ones can reduce the casualty rate of security personnel in time of wars."


Afghanistan's new president to
visit China next week: Chinese FM

BEIJING, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- Afghanistan's new president, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, will pay a state visit to China from next Tuesday to Friday, his first foreign visit since taking office last month, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday.

China has attached great importance to the visit, which is the first high-level visit between China and Afghanistan since the new Afghan government was formed, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a daily press briefing.

Chinese leaders will have an in-depth exchange of views with Ghani on bilateral relations and issues of common concern, Hua said.

"We hope that the visit will help deepen tangible cooperation between China and Afghanistan in various areas, and show China's support of Afghanistan's steady transition and peaceful reconstruction so as to forge ahead the bilateral strategic partnership of cooperation," Hua said.

Ghani was sworn in as new president of Afghanistan on September 29, replacing Hamid Karzai and marking the first-ever peaceful power transition in the history of the war-torn country.

Calling Afghanistan "a traditional good neighbor of China," Hua said China values development of ties with Afghanistan, firmly adopts a friendly policy towards Afghanistan, and supports its reconstruction.

China congratulates Afghanistan on its presidential election and the formation of a national unity government, said Hua, adding that China hopes the new government will lead the Afghan people to peace, stability and development.

China will provide assistance to Afghanistan's reconstruction within its ability, she said.


MoI rejects reports of tensions
between President Ghani and Daudzai

Khaama Press / October 22, 2014

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) rejected reports regarding the escalation of tensions between President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and interior minister Mohammad Umar Daudzai.

The ministry following a statement said it “expresses its disappointment today about an article in yesterday’s New York Times that claims there was tension caused between Mr. Daudzai Minister of Interior and H.E President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani when H.E the President began a meeting a couple of minutes before the Minister arrived.”

The statement further added that The Times article which claims, “Mr. Daudzai showed up a few minutes later and was promptly barred from entry, according to three officials who were familiar with the incident,” includes the fact that an MoI spokesman, correctly, denied the rumor.

“We welcome political analysis from journalists and recognize the important role they play in a healthy democracy, but it’s unfortunate that at such an important time in Afghanistan’s history there is a decision focus on insignificant rumors,” MoI said, adding that “The Ministry of Interior Affairs fully understands its crucial role in supporting the President and we are committed to that obligation. The claim is, simply false and baseless.”

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