Aggregated News about Afghanistan

Cricket Regional Tournament Begins in Kabul

TOLO News - Sun, 10/19/2014 - 12:57

Sunday marks the first day of the 41-day cricket regional tournament in Kabul and Nangarhar that will identify talented faces for the national cricket team.

There are five teams that will be participating in the tournament with each game lasting for four consecutive days.

This will be the first time the Afghan Cricket Board has held a tournament that will last 41-days.

"Last year we held the games to three consecutive days, but this time is the first time we are holding a four-day game between the five teams," Farid Hotak, Media Officer at Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) said. "This will have a great impact on the players technical and professional skills," adding that the national team will be formed via competitions.

The teams participating are: Mis Ainak Zone, Boost Zone, Band-e Amir Zone, Spinghar Zone and Amo Zone.

Key Al-Qaeda Leader Killed in Nangarhar

TOLO News - Sun, 10/19/2014 - 11:55

Key Al-Qaeda leader Abul Bara Al-Kuwaiti was killed in an operation by the National Directorate of Security (NDS) forces in eastern Nangarhar province on Saturday, the NDS said in a statement on Sunday.

The statement highlighted that, "Abul Bara Al-Kuwaiti had close relations with the family of Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the Al-Qaeda leader," adding that Al-Kuwaiti was killed in Nazyan district of the province at Al-Qaeda's commander, Abdul Samad Khenjeri's house.

During the operation, the NDS also seized weapons and important documents regarding Al-Qaeda activity.
This is while three days ago, the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) arrested two top leaders of the Haqqani Network, Anas Haqqani and Hafiz Rashid, marking a major blow to the infamous terrorist group.

Anas, the stepbrother of Sarajudin Haqqani, had a substantial role in high-level decision making in the network. Rashid was said to have overseen the preparation of suicide bombers for attacks inside Afghanistan, according to NDS.

Taliban Surround Uruzgan's Gizab District: Officials

TOLO News - Sun, 10/19/2014 - 10:57

Local officials of southern Uruzgan province said on Sunday that the Taliban insurgents have besieged Gizab District of the province, blocking all routes into the capital.

Additionally, according to a source who spoke to TOLOnews on the condition of anonymity, the insurgents have prevented students from going to schools.

"Most of the schools in the district have been closed," he said. "If a military operation is not launched in Gizab shortly, the Taliban will take full control of the district," he warned the government.

In the past months, insurgents have targeted several districts of Kunar, Nangarhar, Nuristan, Helmand, Kunduz and Uruzgan provinces, starting harsh clashes with the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). During these battles, the ANSF have killed hundreds of insurgents.

As the end of 2014 nears, Afghan forces prepare to take over full security responsibility from foreign troops.

Female Injured in Pakistani Missile Attacks

TOLO News - Sun, 10/19/2014 - 09:21

A 35-year-old Afghan female was injured and a civilian house was destroyed by Pakistani military missile attack in eastern Kunar province, local officials said on Sunday.

According to Kunar Police Chief Abdul Habib Sayedkhili, the Pakistani military has fired 50 missiles into Sarkano and Dangam districts of the province since Saturday night until early Sunday morning.

"The woman was injured after a missile hit her home," Sayedkhili said. "She has been transferred to a hospital in the capital of Kunar to be treated."

He added that the missiles have been fired from Mohmand Agency, a district of Pakistan.

On Saturday, tribal elders from Kunar asked Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, in a meeting in Kabul, to prevent Pakistan from firing onto the eastern parts of the country.

At the meeting, Abdullah informed the men that Pakistan's National Security Advisor, Sartaj Aziz, will be arriving to Kabul on Sunday to discuss the bilateral relations between both countries.

Several families have been displaced because of the ongoing missile attacks from Pakistan's military.

Clashes in Libya's Benghazi Leave More Than 20 Dead

TOLO News - Sun, 10/19/2014 - 07:55

Fierce clashes raged in Benghazi on Friday, leaving more than 20 people dead, on the third day of an offensive by pro-government forces to recapture Libya's second city from Islamist militias.

An AFP correspondent said the latest fighting was the most violent since forces of former general Khalifa Haftar launched the assault on Wednesday with the backing of army units and civilians who have taken up arms.

Benghazi Medical Centre said the 18 dead were mostly soldiers and their civilian supporters in the central district of Al-Majouri.

There was no word on casualties on the side of the Islamists, who rarely announce their losses.

Another four people died on Friday night after a suicide bomber blew up his car at a checkpoint in the central Benghazi district of Boudhima. The suicide bomber was among the dead, Benghazi Medical Centre said.

In a statement on a pro-Haftar television station, Al-Karama, the retired general said he was "satisfied with the results of the battle for Benghazi" and vowed that "victory is near".

At least 52 people have been killed in the three days of what Haftar has called an operation to "liberate" Benghazi, according to hospital figures.

Al-Majouri is home to Mohamed al-Zehawi, leader of the Ansar al-Sharia jihadist group, which the United States has designated a terrorist organisation, and many of his men.

Residents said the two sides were using weapons of all calibres in street fighting in a densely-populated district.

The Libyan Red Crescent called on its Facebook page for a ceasefire, "even for one hour," to allow families to flee the combat zone.

Elsewhere, air raids struck Islamist targets in the districts of Al-Lithi, Al-Massaken and Bouatni, southeast of the Mediterranean city, witnesses said.

Islamist militias have seized control of large parts of turmoil-gripped Libya since a 2011 uprising against long-time leader Moamer Kadhafi.

The army has this time publicly thrown its weight behind Haftar, who launched a first, unsuccessful, campaign against the Islamists in Benghazi in May, dubbing it "Operation Dignity".

"The Libyan army claims 'Operation Dignity'" as one of its own campaigns, spokesman Colonel Ahmed al-Mesmari said Wednesday.

- Final redoubt -

Before this week's assault, Haftar's forces had been steadily beaten back to a final redoubt at Benghazi's airport, which has come under attack by Islamists since mid-September.

Last week, more than 50 people were killed in fighting between the rival sides, according to military and hospital sources.

In May, the authorities had accused the former Kadhafi-era general -- who spent years in exile before returning to join the 2011 revolution -- of trying to mount a coup.

But the internationally recognised interim government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani "is now left with no choice but to make things up with Haftar", said Libyan analyst Fradj Najm.

Oil-rich and largely lawless Libya has two competing governments as well as a host of rival armed militias jostling for influence.

Parliament, elected in June, is recognised by the international community but contested by the militia controlling most of Tripoli and by the Islamists who dominate Benghazi.

Thani and the majority faction of that legislature decamped this summer to the far eastern city of Tobruk because of widespread insecurity, including in the capital, where a rival administration has been set up.

Clashes between rival militias have driven an estimated 287,000 people from their homes, including 100,000 who have fled the outskirts of Tripoli, according to the UN refugee agency.

FARAKHABAR: 18 October 2014

TOLO News - Sun, 10/19/2014 - 05:01

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Kabul on Saturday and met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

To watch the program, click here:

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During his visit to Afghanistan, he signed a cooperation treaty with the Afghan government, promising that Turkish aid would continue to flow.

"Today's talks were useful, we assessed how we can encourage regional countries to cooperate," Erdogan said. "Afghanistan and Turkey's cooperation was important in the past and Turkey will be always on the side of Afghanistan's people and government."

President Ghani thanked Erdogan for his support and voiced hope for the future of Afghan-Turkish relations. He bestowed the Amir Amanullah Khan Medal to the head of the Turkish state.

In the past five decades, Erdogan is the first Turkish President who visited Afghanistan.

Why now?

In this episode of Farakhabar, host Yama Siawish discusses the topic with political analyst, Sardar Rahman Oghuli and MP, Naqibullah Fayeq.

Tawde Khabare: Atmar Wants the Closing of Extremist Schools

TOLO News - Sun, 10/19/2014 - 04:54

In this episode of Tawde Khabare, host Shapoor Bakthyar discusses the demands of Mohammad Hanif Atmar, President Ashraf Ghani's National Security Council Advisor, of closing schools that teach extremism in the region with the following guests:

• Ahmad Saeedi, political analyst
• Hassan Sharifi Balkhabi, MP
• Nadir Khan Katawazi, MP

To watch the program, click here:

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First 100 Days: Ghani Meets With Officials of Kabul Municipality

TOLO News - Sun, 10/19/2014 - 04:49

In this episode of the program, host Fawad Aman discusses the meeting of President Ashraf Ghani with the officials of the Kabul municipality and the civil society activists with the following guests:

• Tariq Majidi, TOLOnews reporter
• Partaw Naderi, civil society activist
• Tahir Hashimi, University professor
• Engineer Sayed Ikram, MP
• Sardar Mohammad Rahimi, University professor

To watch the program, click here:

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Afghanistan Signs Treaty With Turkey

TOLO News - Sat, 10/18/2014 - 18:05

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his visit to Afghanistan on Saturday signed a cooperation treaty with the Afghan government, promising that Turkish aid would continue to flow.

"Today's talks were useful, we assessed how we can encourage regional countries to cooperate," Erdogan said. "Afghanistan and Turkey's cooperation was important in the past and Turkey will be always on the side of Afghanistan's people and government."

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani thanked Erdogan for his support and voiced hope for the future of Afghan-Turkish relations. He bestowed the Amir Amanullah Khan Medal to the head of the Turkish state.

The two presidents were said to have discussed how their two governments can work together to promote regional security, including getting Pakistan to be a better partner in counterterrorism efforts.

"Our emphasis was on how we learn lessons.... Turkey's constructive role in promoting peace in the region and especially we welcome Pakistan's role in that," Ghani said.

"We have also discussed about the Iraq and Syria situations because we want to define a new concept of the Islamic World," Erdogan added.

It was clear a priority for Ghani in the talks discussing Pakistan's role in counterterrorism efforts in the region. The two presidents reportedly discussed organizing a trilateral meeting between the three countries.

"We do not want further problems between Afghanistan and Pakistan," Erdogan said. "To continue this process, meetings between Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey could help to resolve the problems between the two countries."

In his remarks following their meeting, Ghani emphasized that terrorism was a collective challenge facing countries in the region, not just individual governments.

"The problem we are facing is not the problem of one country, today, extremism threatens all governments in the region and it is a joint threat," Ghani said. "Syria, Libya and Iraq are not separate from the situation in Afghanistan or Pakistan, so the first point is that we do a joint review of all risks and find conclusively with who can do what and provide a framework, on the basis of which we can gradually but fundamentally solve the problems."

Turkish president during his visit from Afghanistan promised to provide funding for the renovation of the Kabul Airport, University of Jalaludin Balkhi and Ali Abad hospital.

Erdogan is the first president to visit Afghanistan since the new national unity government led by Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah came to power.

TOLOnews 6pm News 18 October 2014

TOLO News - Sat, 10/18/2014 - 16:19

Top news in this bulletin

Chairman of the Global Affairs Commission at the House of Representatives said that the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) and Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) have been sent to the House of Representatives on Saturday afternoon for review.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

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Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah sat down with tribal elders, businessmen and Atta Mohammad Noor, Governor of Balkh province, on Saturday in Kabul to discuss their concerns and expectations of the National Unity Government.

Government Unable to Collect Debt From Sherpoor Homeowners

TOLO News - Sat, 10/18/2014 - 15:44

Homeowners in the Sherpoor area of Kabul owe the Afghan government over 10 million USD but are refusing to pay up, according to local officials.

Sherpoor houses are rented up to 30,000 USD a month, but owners have declined to pay the government back for the costs of infrastructure development in the area.

The Kabul Mayor did not get into the specifies of the debt, but said efforts are underway to collect all that is owed. "Some of the Sherpoor money has been paid, but the remaining money needs to be paid," Mayor Muhammad Younus Nawandesh said. "It has been mentioned in the agreement as well that if the installments are not paid on time, they will be fined."

Meanwhile, President Ashraf Ghani has also weighed in on the issue. "The Sherpoor incident will not be repeated, we will collect the installments for Sherpoor lands," Ghani said.

The Sherpoor residential area was built around 10 years ago and is largely filled with luxury homes for government officials and successful businessmen.

"Nine to ten million dollars of the Sherpoor land money is remaining that has not been paid to the government," Sherpoor area representative Said Muhammad said.

A real-estate broker in Sherpoor, Muhammad Ajmal, said much of the money the owners make off rent, which they could pay the government back with, gets transferred abroad. "Many of these houses are rented at a high price, owners take the rent six month or even a year in advance, and then transfer it to their account abroad."

Sherpoor is known as a wealthy neighborhood, yet the roads remain unpaved. It lies on about 400 acres of land in one of the most important areas of capital. Close to 360 plots were sold to senior government officials and landlords 10 years ago.

Taliban Dominate Parts of Sar-e Pul After ANA Ambush

TOLO News - Sat, 10/18/2014 - 15:22

Following an ambush last week in which the Afghan National Army (ANA) suffered heavy losses, the Alaf Sapeed area has become a Taliban stronghold.

TOLOnews reporter Rateb Noori traveled to Sar-e Pul province to find out more about the incident that occurred last Monday.

In Sar-e Pul city, the capital of the province, everything seemed normal, but outside of the city, the situation was very different.

"Alaf Sapeed is very dangerous, when we were coming, we saw a total of 14 national army vehicles set on fire," said Abdul Hameed, a resident of Kohistanat district.

Since last Monday, the Alaf Sapeed valley has become a Taliban hotbed, and local residents report that the Afghan security forces cannot travel through it without getting attacked. When asked to take the TOLOnews team to the area, a local guide refused because he said it was too dangerous.

Adeena is a driver who drives the route through the valley every day. He said that there are not enough security check posts from the center of the province out to the outlying Kohistanat district.

"Parts of the Sar-e Pul province is hilly, that is why having air support is very important," Deputy Provincial Governor Abdul Ghafoor Dastyar said. "We had asked for air support from the foreign troops in the incident, but our request was not answered positively; if we had air support last week, we would have not have had such heavy losses."

BSA, SOFA Agreements Sent to Parliament for Ratification

TOLO News - Sat, 10/18/2014 - 15:07

Chairman of the Global Affairs Commission at the House of Representatives said that the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) and Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) have been sent to the House of Representatives on Saturday afternoon for review.

"On Sunday, we will begin discussing both agreements and when we are done we will send it off to other commissions to look over," Abdul Qadir Zazai, Chairman of the Global Affairs Commission, said.

The Administrative Commission at the House of Representatives said that after the agreements have been discussed within the committees, it will be sent to the floor for ratification.

"Both agreements are in favor of the people of Afghanistan and the country itself," House of Representative Secretary Said Akram said. "If sovereignty, independence, Islamic and cultural issues are respected the ratification should not take long."

Both security agreements took more than year to sign under the Karzai administration, but was signed immediately by newly-elected President Ashraf Ghani on his the second day in office, as promised during his campaigning.

The agreement outlines that the United States "shall have an obligation to seek funds on a yearly basis to support the training, equipping, advising, and sustaining of the ANSF so that Afghanistan can independently secure and defend itself against internal and external threats and help ensure that terrorists never again encroach on Afghan soil and threaten Afghanistan, the region, and the world."

The agreement is said to be in effect from January 1, 2015 until the end of 2024.

Tennis Competitions Kick Off in Kabul

TOLO News - Sat, 10/18/2014 - 14:55

Sixty athletes from across the nation gathered in Kabul City on Saturday to participate in the tennis competitions that will identify 27 talented faces to form the national team.

The competition is a weeklong event with athletes from Kabul, Nangarhar, Parwan and Herat provinces.

"The purpose of the competition is to find the talents among the participants to structure the national team," head of the tennis federation, Mohammad Azim Neyazi said. "I hope we can build a strong team from this group of athletes."

A number of the athletes are excited about the competitions, but have expressed their concerns of not having practiced enough because of the lack of proper facilities in the provinces.

"We don't have a problem to train, it's just that we do not have a proper place to train," Ahmad Wali, an athlete from Herat, said. "We have asked the federation to provide a sporting facility in Herat."

Abdul Manan, an athlete partaking in the competitions, said that there are places to train without roofs. "When winter arrives we cannot train because of the snow and rain. Our buildings do not have roofs."

At the end of the tennis competition 27 out of the 60 participants will become a part of Afghanistan's national tennis team.

Taliban Insurgents Killed in Kunduz Operation

TOLO News - Sat, 10/18/2014 - 14:53

At least 34 Taliban insurgent were killed in an Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) operation in northern Kunduz province in the past 10 days, local officials said.

Forty-seven other insurgents and a policeman were injured in the operation.

The operation was launched in the district of Imam Sahib District of the province in which 10 villages have been cleared of insurgents.

According to the Director of Police Operations in Kunduz, Mohammad Safar, the operations ended on Friday night.

He added that "a number of insurgents fled the scene into the jungle of Imam Sahib and a search operation has been launched in the areas to find the militants."

Taliban have not yet commented about the operation.

Suicide Blast Leaves Eight Dead

TOLO News - Sat, 10/18/2014 - 14:45

At least eight people were killed and one other wounded on Saturday when a suicide attacker with an explosive-laden car hit a security force convoy in Helmand province, local officials said.

Helmand Provincial Police Chief Gen. Juma Gul Himat, while confirming the incident, told TOLOnews the incident occurred when the security forces' convoy was traveling from Lashkargah district to Sangin district.

"A suicide bomber riding an explosive-laden car detonated his explosives near the convoy of the security forces and killed six national army soldiers, one public protection forces policeman and a civilian," Himat said.

Reports indicate that the civilian killed in the blast was a female.

The victims were taken to a nearby hospital.

No insurgent group including the Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

Next Five Years Are the Years for Hard Work: Abdullah

TOLO News - Sat, 10/18/2014 - 09:36

Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah sat down with tribal elders, businessmen and Atta Mohammad Noor, Governor of Balkh province, on Saturday in Kabul to discuss their concerns and expectations of the National Unity Government.

During the discussions Abdullah emphasized that the "next five years are the years for hard work," stressing that for a successful government the relationship between the people and the government must be "honest" in order to reach the goals set.

He began by addressing the electoral system that many have criticized has to be amended as many have learned from the 2014 presidential and provincial elections.

"We have the district council and parliamentary elections ahead of us, but before the elections near we will reform the electoral system, which in turn will strengthen the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and take the nation a step forward to a better future," Abdullah said.

The meeting was attended by tribal elders and businessmen of eastern Kunar, Nuristan, Nangarhar and Laghman provinces who raised their concerns about the economic, security and educational issues in the provinces.

The residents of Kunar have asked Abdullah to prevent the missile attacks from Pakistan's military into the eastern parts of the country. He informed the men that Pakistan's National Security Advisor, Sartaj Aziz, will be arriving to Kabul on Sunday to discuss the bilateral relations between both countries.

On Saturday, Kunar's Police Chief Abdul Habib Sayedkhili told TOLOnews that Pakistan's military has fired nearly 50 missiles into the province that have devastated many families.

In the past year alone, Pakistan's military has fired nearly 6,000 missiles onto Afghan soil and more than 2,000 families have been displaced because of the shelling, according to local official reports.

Pakistan National Security Advisor to Visit Kabul

TOLO News - Sat, 10/18/2014 - 07:33

Pakistan's National Security Advisor, Sartaj Aziz, is expected to visit Kabul as the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's special envoy on Sunday with an official invitation letter to President Ashraf Ghani, according to Pakistan's Foreign Office statement.

Aziz is the first Pakistani official to visit Afghanistan after the formation of the new Afghan government. He will meet President Ghani and other Afghan officials in Kabul.

He is said to meet with President Ghani and other Afghan officials in the capital of the country—Kabul.

The statement added that Aziz will also be meeting with Afghan National Security Advisor Mohammad Hanif Atmar to discuss bilateral and regional issues.

His visit to Afghanistan is a part of Pakistan's efforts to build a new phase in the Afghanistan-Pakistan bilateral relationship.

First 100 Days: President Ghani Meets Civil Society Activists

TOLO News - Sat, 10/18/2014 - 07:05

President Ashraf Ghani at a gathering of civil society activists and Kabul municipality workers on Friday, discussed about Kabul and it's municipality.

In this episode of the program, host Omid Farooq discusses the topic with the following guests:

• Ali Reza Yasa, journalist
• Jafar Mahdawi, university professor
• Aziz Ahmad Barez, political analyst
• Shah Hussian Murtazawi, journalist
• Abdulla Poyan, political analyst

To watch the program, click here:

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Bodies of Four Women Found in Farah

TOLO News - Sat, 10/18/2014 - 05:33

The bodies of four women who were killed by Taliban insurgents were found in western Farah province, local official said.

According to the provincial governor spokesman, Jawad Afghan, the women were carried by the Taliban into the mountains of Farah's capital and shot dead because of adultery relations with men.

He said that the bodies were discovered by Afghan security forces and taken to the hospital.

The police have started investigations about the incident, he added.

The Taliban have no yet commented about the incident.

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