Afghanistan to Announce Election Audit Results on Sunday
VOA News / September 20, 2014
Afghan election officials say they have completed an audit of ballots cast in the June 14 election and will release the results on Sunday.
The announcement should bring the country's more than five-month-long election process to a close.
The two candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, both say they won the election. They have been negotiating a power-sharing agreement that would divide responsibilities between the president and the newly-created office of chief executive.
Abdullah won the most votes in the initial election in April, but did not manage a majority, forcing a second round of voting in June. Ghani won the runoff, but Abdullah protested the results claiming widespread fraud. Under U.S. pressure, the two candidates had agreed to the U.N.-backed vote recount.
Two Afghan Students Killed For 'Spying'
By RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan
September 20, 2014
Afghan officials say the Taliban has killed two high-school students in the northeastern Konar Province after accusing them of spying for the government.
Konar's deputy police chief, Abdul Qader Khan, told RFE/RL that the students were killed on September 20 in the Nari district.
The students were kidnapped last month.
The Taliban has not commented on the claim.
Taliban militants have a strong presence in some areas of Konar, which borders Pakistan's tribal areas.
With reporting by dpa
Sayyaf calls killers of Afghan forces and Jihadi leaders ‘infidels’
Khaama Press / September 20, 2014
Professor Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf, a prominent religious cleric and former jihadi leader, once again took a hard stance against the Taliban militants and challenged their ongoing armed campaign.
Sayyaf was speaking during the commemoration ceremony to mark the 3rd death anniversary of former president and high peace council chief Burhanuddin Rabbani.
He criticized the Taliban group for their armed campaign against the Afghan forces and government and said Taliban are carrying out brutal attacks in the name of Islam.
Sayyaf challenged Taliban leaders for face to face debate and insisted that murderers of Afghan forces and jihadi leaders are infidels.
Rabbani was killed following a suicide attack in his residence in capital Kabul three years back.
He was assassinated by a suicide bomber who had disguised himself as a peace messenger, representing the Taliban group.
The bomber detonated explosives which were planted in his turban after getting close to Rabbani, killing him along with a number of other high peace council officials and injuring several others including high peace council secretary Masoom Stanikzai.
News Analysis: Will IS turns gun towards Afghanistan?
KABUL, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- The fighting forces of Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi self-claimed caliphate, known as the Islamic State (IS) which has been fighting in Iraq and Syria, has reportedly begun distributing leaflets among Afghan refugees living in Pakistan, inviting them for the so-called Jihad or holy war.
According to media reports, the leaflets are titled "Fatah" which means "Conquer" and written in Dari and Pashtu, the two official languages of Afghanistan.
In the 12-page leaflets reportedly handed out among Afghan refugees sheltered in Pakistan, IS, besides giving information about its objectives, has also called upon Muslims in Afghanistan, Pakistan and central Asian states to support the caliphate.
IS has also published a map of its dreamed territory to establish a caliphate, including Khurasan which once covered the present Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, among others.
Afghan observers have regarded the ambitious plan as an alarm for the war-torn country.
Although Taliban outfit, which has been advocating for the formation of an Islamic Emirate with Amirul Mominin or supreme leader of Muslims as its head of state, has yet to make any comments on the IS's ambitious plans, some Afghan and Pakistani Taliban elements have reportedly pledged allegiance to the caliphate.
According to media reports, a Pakistani Taliban commander named Ahsanullah Ahsan has recently broken up with the Taliban movement and sworn allegiance to IS fighting in Iraq and Syria to establish a caliphate.
Following the step, another militant commander called Mir Wais, who is loyal to Hekmatyar-led Islamic faction the Hizb-e-Islami and Mawlawi Abdul Rahim Muslimdost fighting in Afghanistan, has also expressed support for IS, it is reported.
Some media outlets have also reported the presence of Afghan fighters in Syria fighting alongside extremist groups there.
Observers believe that since Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar has not been seen over the past decade and Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi is alive and leading his fighters, extremists, especially those who are young illiterates and poor, would prefer to join IS instead of fighting alongside Taliban.
According to observers, recent rumors about Mullah Omar's death, which was reported months ago, would encourage young extremist fighters to either abandon Taliban or join IS in Iraq and Syria.
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