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Archive for Afghanistan

Newsline: Suspect arrested in Pakistan Embassy attack in Afghanistan

A member of the militant Islamic State group has been arrested in last week’s shooting attack targeting the Pakistani Embassy in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul, the spokesman of the Taliban government said. (https://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/IS-suspect-arrested-in-Pakistan-Embassy-attack-in-17631613.php) The attack, in which shots were fired at the embassy from a nearby building, triggered anger in Pakistan, and increased tensions between the two South Asian neighbors.

Newsline: Pakistani embassy in Kabul attacked

Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul came under attack on Friday with gunfire wounding a Pakistani security guard, officials said, in what Islamabad called an attempt to assassinate its head of mission, who was unhurt. It was not immediately clear who was behind the embassy attack. A spokesperson for Kabul police said the embassy compound was targeted by gunfire from a nearby building. Police had arrested one suspect and recovered two firearms, the statement said. (https://news.yahoo.com/pakistan-says-kabul-head-mission-124717250.html) Pakistan’s Foreign Office said the attack had been aimed at the head of mission, Ubaid-ur-Rehman Nizamani. It said Nizamani was safe, but a Pakistani security guard, Sepoy Israr Mohammad, was critically wounded in the attack while protecting the ambassador.

Newsline: Japanese ambassador meets Taliban official

The Taliban say one of their top officials has met with Japan’s ambassador to Afghanistan. This comes after Japan partially reopened its embassy in Kabul last month. The Taliban said their acting interior minister, Sirajuddin Haqqani, held talks with Okada Takashi in the capital on Sunday. (https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20221024_40/) The embassy said both sides exchanged candid views on issues including girls’ education and media freedom. Japan temporarily closed the embassy after the Taliban regained power last year. The meeting between Haqqani and Okada took place at a time when the international community is considering how to deal with the Taliban. The group has not been recognized as a legitimate government by any country so far.

Newsline: ISIS claim responsibility for suicide bombing outside Russian embassy in Kabul

The terrorist group known as ISIS have claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing in Afghanistan. (https://euroweeklynews.com/2022/09/06/breaking-news-multiple-casualties-after-suicide-bombing-outside-russian-embassy-in-kabul-afghanistan/) Two Russian diplomats have reportedly been killed in the suicide bombing outside the Russian embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, as reported on Monday, September 5. The suicide bomber reportedly blew himself up outside the Russian embassy in Kabul, while waiting in line for visas. The attack outside the consular section of the Russian Embassy in Kabul took place as a member of the section came out to read out a list of those waiting in line for a visa, Afghan media reported.

Newsline: Two Russian embassy staff killed in Kabul bombing

A bomb exploded near the Russian embassy in the Afghan capital Kabul on Monday morning, officials said. Two Russian embassy staff were killed on Monday in a blast near the country’s diplomatic mission in Kabul, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. Russia’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that at 10:50 am Kabul time, an unknown militant set off an explosive device in the immediate vicinity of the entrance to the consular section of the Russian Embassy in Kabul. “As a result of the attack, two employees of the diplomatic mission were killed, and there are also victims among Afghan citizens,” the ministry said. (https://www.newsweek.com/explosion-russian-embassy-kabul-afghanistan-diplomats-kabul-1739779) The explosion happened near the embassy building located in the Darul Aman area, southwest of Kabul, Khaama Press reported. Russian state run news agency TASS cited the Arabic TV channel Al Arabiya as saying that the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber.

Newsline: Indian embassy newly re-opened in Kabul to expand activities

According to TOLO news, Abdul Qahar Balkhi, the spokesperson for the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on Twitter that the recently “re-opened” Indian embassy in Kabul is anticipated to expand activities. “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan appreciates this step of India, which wants to increase the level of diplomatic representation of its embassy in Kabul,” said Abdul Qahar Balkhi in a Tweet. (https://www.msn.com/en-in/news/world/indian-embassy-newly-re-opened-in-kabul-karzai-urged-ambassador-not-to-leave/ar-AA10PpTu) Local workers provided consular services in the Indian Embassy in Kabul, according to local media sources, and it was never shuttered. The “technical team,” which has been stationed there since June and focuses on commercial and trade opportunities as well as the provision of food and medical supplies, will expand the Embassy’s operations. Another Indian team recently went to Kabul to supervise the distribution of our humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and met with Taliban leaders. An evaluation of the security situation was also done during the visit.

Newsline: Taliban mark first anniversary of victory next to US embassy in Kabul

Taliban fighters chanted victory slogans next to the US embassy in Kabul Monday as they marked the first anniversary of their return to power in Afghanistan following a turbulent year that saw women’s rights crushed and a humanitarian crisis worsen. “This great victory came after countless sacrifices and hardships,” Abdul Ghani Baradar, deputy prime minister and co-founder of the Taliban movement, said on Twitter. “On this day… the Islamic Emirate brought the world’s superpower and its allies to their knees and Afghans gained their independence,” added Baradar, who in 2020 signed a deal with Washington offering security guarantees in return for the withdrawal of foreign forces. (https://news.yahoo.com/day-conquest-taliban-mark-turbulent-065835722.html) One group marched past the former US embassy, chanting ‘Long live Islam’ and ‘Death to America’. Exactly a year ago, the hardline Islamists captured Kabul after a nationwide lightning offensive against government forces just as US-led troops were ending two decades of intervention in a conflict that cost tens of thousands of lives.

Newsline: Afghans jostling for Pakistan’s visas sparks stampede killing 15

At least 15 people were killed in stampede among thousands of Afghans gathered near Pakistan’s consulate on Tuesday as jostling broke out between people applying for visas, officials in the eastern city of Jalalabad said. An estimated 3,000 Afghans had congregated on the open ground, usually used for sports or pubic gatherings, outside the consulate, waiting to collect tokens needed to apply for a visa. An Afghan news channel transmitted images of them holding passports aloft to secure a token. Images taken after the stampede showed scores of passports strewn across the ground. “The visa applicants jostled to secure their token from the consulate officials…the crowd got out of control, leading to a stampede,” said an Afghan official. (https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN2760J0) A survivor described to Reuters how tempers frayed and the crowd became unruly in the lead up to the stampede. “I stood in the queue all night but at some point people got angry and started pushing, many of us fell on the ground,” said Farmanullah, who goes by a single name. Eleven of the 15 victims were women, and several senior citizens were among more than a dozen injured, Sohrab Qaderi, a provincial council member, said. Tens of thousands of Afghans every year travel to neighbouring Pakistan to secure medical treatment, education and jobs. The two countries share a nearly 2,600-kilometre border. The Pakistan embassy in Kabul issued a statement expressing “deep grief and sadness”, and officials said Afghan authorities had been responsible for marshalling the crowd on the sports ground.

Newsline: US Embassy in Kabul paid $8.4 million for meals it didn’t need

Poor oversight led the State Department to pay almost $8.4 million for unneeded meals at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and other facilities in Afghanistan, a government watchdog agency said. An audit by the State Department’s Office of Inspector General found multiple deficiencies and insufficient monitoring of a contract awarded to the McLean, Va.-based DynCorp International. (https://www.stripes.com/news/us-embassy-in-kabul-paid-8-4-million-for-meals-it-didn-t-need-ig-audit-finds-1.646916) Because of poor record keeping, the U.S. can’t recover the $8.4 million paid for the meals and can’t be sure DynCorp followed the terms of its contract, the IG said. The State Department has paid DynCorp about $353 million since 2015 to provide food, security, and medical and other services. The contract required DynCorp to provide three meals a day, seven days a week, at a rate of about $21 each to cafeterias at the U.S. Embassy and other consular facilities, the audit said. DynCorp receives a fixed amount to provide about 2.9 million meals each year. But the actual number of meals served has dropped for several years as Embassy staff levels have steadily decreased.

Newsline: Sewage from US Embassy dumped into Kabul River

Raw sewage pours into the fetid waters of Kabul River each day, including some of what comes from the U.S. Embassy and the military headquarters for Resolute Support NATO. The only public facility in Kabul for sewage treatment hasn’t worked for almost two years because of poor maintenance, leading to untreated wastewater being dumped into the river and endangering the health of thousands of families, Afghan officials said. (https://www.stripes.com/news/sewage-from-us-embassy-nato-headquarters-dumped-into-kabul-river-due-to-aging-infrastructure-1.644860) At least 21,000 gallons of raw sewage from portable toilets at the U.S. Embassy are unloaded each month at the aging Makroyan Waste Water Treatment Plant, which pipes the untreated sewage into the river, according to Afghan officials and a representative for the contractor Oryx-Afghanistan, who handles waste for the compound.