Yesterday's Afghan News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Afghan president’s
cousin killed in bomb attack

Hashmat Karzai

Press TV
July 29, 2014

The cousin of Afghanistan’s outgoing President Hamid Karzai has been killed in a bomb attack in Kandahar in the country’s south.

“A suicide bomber disguised as a guest came to Hashmat Karzai’s house to greet him on [the religious festival of] Eid,” said Dawa Khan Minapal, the provincial governor spokesman in Kandahar, adding, “After he hugged him, he blew up his explosives and killed Hashmat Karzai.”

He added that the attack has injured no one else. No group has claimed responsibility for it so far.

The attack may possibly raise tensions over the result of the presidential election in the country as Hashmat Karzai was considered as one of the important political figures in Kandahar and a supporter of presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani.

Voting recounting is underway in Afghanistan as Ghani’s contender; Abdullah Abdullah has rejected preliminary results of the presidential run-off. The two have accepted an internationally monitored audit.

On Monday, Hamid Karzai said during a speech marking the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday that Afghans “want to have an outcome to the election as soon as possible, so that ... [Afghanistan] can have its president soon.”

Alleged Saddam Hussein
Relative Seeks Asylum In Tajikistan

By RFE/RL's Tajik Service

July 29, 2014

A man claiming to be a relative of late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein is seeking political asylum in Tajikistan.

The deputy chief of the traffic police in Tajikistan’s southern district of Farhor, Mahmad Izatulloev, told RFE/RL on July 29 that a 47-year-old man, who identified himself as Abdulla ibn-Akhmad al-Arabiya, had been detained while illegally crossing the Tajik-Afghan border on July 13.

Izatulloev said the man, who is fluent in five languages, told Tajik officials that he has served in Hussein's secret services and was sentenced to five years in jail after the Iraqi dictator was toppled in 2003.

The man said he moved to Afghanistan after serving his prison term and wants to get political asylum status in Tajikistan.

Izatulloev said Tajik authorities are investigating the claims.

Report: U.S.-Provided Weapons To Afghans
Have Gone Missing, Sparking Insurgent Fears

By Luke Johnson

July 28, 2014
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Weapons bought and paid for by the United States for Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) have gone missing, according to a report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction released on July 28.

The Department of Defense has provided the ANSF with 747,000 weapons since 2004 for approximately $626 million, and cannot account for all of their whereabouts due to poor recordkeeping.

The United States also provided Afghan forces with more than 112,000 excess weapons, and the Department of Defense has no authority to recapture or remove them, according to the report.

The Inspector General concluded that due to the Afghan government's inability to account for or dispose of the weapons, that there is "real potential for these weapons to fall into the hands of insurgents, which will pose additional risks to U.S. personnel, the ANSF, and Afghan civilians."

The report comes at a perilous moment in Afghanistan.

"The New York Times" reported on July 26 that Taliban fighters are making key advances near Kabul, beyond their strongholds.

The Afghan government also remains fragile, as a presidential election audit has been troubled with delays and sharp disagreements between the two candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani.

The report reveals that the Department of Defense's recordkeeping is loaded with discrepancies and errors.

Of 474,823 serial numbers in one database named OVERLORD, the Operational Verification of Reliable Logistics Oversight Database, 43 percent had missing information and/or duplication.

OVERLORD also had over 50,000 serial numbers with no shipping or receiving dates, raising questions concerning their whereabouts.

The Afghan government has no standardized accounting for the weapons, instead relying on documents, handwritten records, and some spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel.

The Inspector General visited the Central Supply Depot, controlled by Afghans with assistance from U.S. advisors, and found many discrepancies.

For instance, there were 740 missing M16 rifles, 112 missing M23 pistols, and 24 missing M2 machine guns.

The excess arms provided to Afghans have resulted in 83,184 more AK-47 rifles, 5,186 more RPK machine guns, and 5,834 more GP-25/30 Grenade Launchers.

The report notes that the issue of excess weapons will likely worsen in coming years, because, while Afghan security forces are scheduled to decrease, the number of weapons provided is thus far unchanged.

Afghanistan to prepare for 2015 World
Cup in Australia and New Zealand

Khaama Press / July 29, 2014

The Afghanistan National Cricket Team is expected to travel to Australia and New Zealand, in a bid to prepare for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced that the tour for the four qualifying teams has been scheduled in September and October 2014.

Afghanistan, Ireland, Scotland and United Arab Emirates (UAE) are among the four qualifying teams to travel to Australia and New Zealand.

The four qualifying teams will take on local teams as part of ICC High Performance Programme (HPP) during the tours which will be organized with an aim to assist the qualifiers’ preparations for cricket’s pinnacle 50-over tournament.

A number of specialist coaches and former players from both countries, will also be available to support their training and planning sessions.

The Afghanistan National Cricket Team is expected to arrive in Perth on 14th September, the ICC officials said.

Afghanistan will make its maiden appearance at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, which will be held between 14 February and 29 March. 

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