Today's Afghan News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

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Opinion / Commentary

Yamin Zakaria: There is no Honour in Honour Killing
Special Reports & Articles
Reports: Afghan special forces negotiating with Taliban in Sangin
A Coup Is Brewing in Afghanistan
Afghanistan said to bar New York Times reporter from leaving country
Amid Election Impasse, Calls in Afghanistan for an Interim Government
Afghanistan reconstruction a multibillion-dollar waste
Afghanistan marks independence day in Kabul
Farahnaz Yaqoobi the Pride of Afghanistan in Nanjing 2014
Can cricket unite war-trodden Afghanistan?
Afghanistan running out of cash as poll deadlock drags on
5 American Muslims sue FBI, attorney general over travel watch list
Kabul cafe is a front line in a war over culture and social mores
Key Abdullah ally warns of Afghan unrest if vote recount is ‘one-sided’
After the Taliban: taking solar energy to remote parts of Afghanistan
Afghanistan: A Taliban-Humanitarian Affair
Doing Business In Afghanistan

UN Condemns Clash Between Afghan
Candidate's Team, Electoral Workers

Abdullah (left) and Ghani (right)

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

August 20, 2014

The United Nations’ Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has condemned a clash in Kabul between presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah’s campaign team and workers from Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission.

The clash on August 19 at the compound where the ballots from Afghanistan’s presidential election are being audited left several people injured.

In a statement on August 20, UNAMA noted that the clash was not the first time that heated arguments involving representatives of campaign teams have culminated in violence.

The statement said campaign team supervisors "are responsible for guiding their workers and for controlling the situation so that disputes do not deteriorate into confrontation.”

Washington brokered a deal for an audit and national unity government between Abdullah and rival candidate Ashraf Ghani amid allegations of massive fraud in the June second-round vote.

But there are concerns there could be further disputes as the results of the audit emerge.

Afghanistan Orders 'Times' Reporter To Leave Within 24 Hours

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

August 20, 2014

A "New York Times" reporter has been given 24 hours to leave Afghanistan for not cooperating with an investigation, according to a statement from the attorney general's office.

The journalist, Matthew Rosenberg, is quoted by Reuters as saying he has not yet been contacted directly by officials about any order to leave.

Rosenberg had been summoned to the attorney general's office for questioning on August 19 after "The New York Times" ran a story about officials discussing plans to form an interim government if a deadlock over the presidential election failed to be broken soon.

An April 6 vote to elect a successor to President Hamid Karzai failed to produce a clear winner and a June runoff triggered allegations of massive fraud.

Candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani eventually signed a joint declaration confirming they would cooperate on forming a unity government after an audit of votes from June's second-round presidential election is completed.

The "New York Times" story said some officials with ties to the security forces were "threatening to seize power" to break the political deadlock.

Basir Azizi, a spokesman for Afghanistan's attorney general, said Rosenberg's August 18 story was "against the law and national interests of Afghanistan."

The United States on August 19 urged the Afghan government "to respect fundamental freedoms of expression and expression of the press."

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP

NATO Soldier Was Victim Of Kabul Stabbing

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

August 20, 2014

A foreigner who was stabbed to death in Kabul on August 20 was a member of the NATO force in the country, according to NATO and Kabul police.

NATO has issued a statement confirming "a service member died of wounds as a result of an attack in eastern Afghanistan today."

Kabul police also confirmed the killing of the NATO soldier who was attacked when a coalition convoy was stopped on the airport road for a routine police check.

Kabul police said the attacker was captured and was being questioned.

The nationality of the soldier has not yet been released.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa

Afghan militancy claims 15 lives

KABUL, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- The ongoing Taliban-led militancy has claimed the lives of 15 people including a foreign soldier and 10 militants in the conflict-ridden Afghanistan on Wednesday.

According to a local official, the violence began with conflict in Ghazni province which left 11 people including a police and 10 insurgents dead, followed with violence in Uruzgan and Kabul.

At least 10 militants and one policeman were killed while a district police chief wounded Wednesday morning in a clash in Ghazni province with Ghazni city as its capital 125 km south of Kabul.

"Taliban militants laid an ambush on police patrol in Andar district of Ghazni province early morning triggering gunfight. Army personnel arrived at the scene. The engagement left 10 militants and one police constable dead," army spokesman in the province Nazifullah Sultani told Xinhua.

District police chief Lutfullah Khan was slightly injured in the attack, he said.

Couple of hours later, a roadside bomb struck a civilian car in Charchino district of the southern Uruzgan province killing three people and wounding two others. "The gruesome incident occurred at around 10:00 a.m. local time Wednesday in Charchino district leaving three persons dead and injuring two others,"district police chief Wali Dad told Xinhua.

All the victims are civilians, the official said. He also put the attack on the enemies of peace, a term used against Taliban militants by Afghan officials.

Moreover, a soldier of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) lost his life in Afghanistan on Wednesday, the alliance confirmed in a statement. "An International Security Assistance Force service member died of wounds as a result of an attack in eastern Afghanistan," the ISAF statement asserted.

"The brief statement didn't reveal the nationality of the victim or the exact place of the incident under the ISAF policy, saying 'it is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities.'"

In a related incident, unknown armed men attacked a foreigner with knife on the road leading to Kabul airport and badly injured him at 10:30 a.m. local time on Wednesday.

Roadside bomb kills 3, wounds 2 in S. Afghanistan

TRINKOT, Afghanistan, Aug. 20 (Xinhua)-- Three persons were killed and two others sustained injuries as a roadside bomb struck a civilian car in the southern Uruzgan province with Trinkot as its capital 370 km south of Kabul on Wednesday, police said. "The gruesome incident occurred at around 10:00 a.m. local time in Charchino district, leaving three persons dead and two others injured,"district police chief Wali Dad told Xinhua.

All the victims are civilians, the official said.

He also blamed the enemies of peace for the attack, a term used against Taliban militants by Afghan officials.

However, the armed outfit fighting the government has yet to make comment.

US-led soldiers gun down teenagers in west Afghanistan

Press TV / August 19, 2014

Two Afghan teenage boys have been shot and killed by US-led foreign forces in Afghanistan’s western province of Herat, Press TV reports.

The incident happened outside an airbase in the Shindad district of the province, situated 662 kilometers (412 miles) west of the capital Kabul, on Tuesday as the teenagers were sifting through garbage close to the military site.

Neither the local authorities nor the US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) have commented on the shooting.

Also on Tuesday, two people were killed when US-led forces launched an airstrike in Afghanistan’s northeastern province of Kunar.

According to local officials, the airborne assault targeted the Taliban and those killed in the raid were members of the militant group.

On August 14, at least three Afghan policemen were killed and another injured when foreign forces launched an airstrike in Afghanistan’s northern province of Parwan.

The attack took place in the Ghorband district of the province, situated about 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Kabul.

The US-led forces have recently increased their air raids against civilian areas of Afghanistan.

Civilian casualties have long been a source of friction between the Afghan government and US-led forces, and have dramatically increased anti-US sentiments in the country.

The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity continues to rise across the country, despite the presence of thousands of US-led troops.

E.U. grants 95 mln U.S. dollars to Afghan police

KABUL, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (E.U.), in its latest aid efforts for Afghan National Police, on Wednesday announced another 95 million U.S. dollars for payment of the war- torn nation's police personnel.

"The Afghan National Security Forces are playing an increasingly important role in the Afghan society as it moves towards transition. Their presence and professionalism is crucial to the sustainability of the Afghan state and the security of its people," Milko Van Gool, Head of Development Cooperation of the E. U. Delegation to Afghanistan, told a press conference here.

He said the sum will be fully allocated for salaries of at least 12,600 Afghan police personnel for the next two years.

"The job of the Afghan police officer is a difficult and dangerous one. He or she has earned every single cent of their salary. I therefore take this opportunity to reiterate the obligation of the government to find ways to ensure the complete monthly salary goes directly into the pockets of each individual officer and nowhere else," said the E.U representative.

E.U., as the long term supporter of Afghan police, with the latest payment has been contributed a total of over 440 million Euros (591 million U.S. Dollars) to Afghanistan's Civilian Police through the Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan (LOTFA), which is administered by United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

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