TOLO News

TOLOnews 6pm News 23 July 2016

Sat, 07/23/2016 - 15:51

Top news in this Bulletin:

A high-ranking Afghan security official has confirmed that Daesh was behind the deadly Kabul attack that claimed over 60 lives and wounded more than 200 on Saturday.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

{youtube}JRHHsxPZqKY{/youtube}

 Kabul hospitals on Saturday afternoon appealed to the public for blood following the deadly twin-suicide bombing in Kabul earlier in the day.

Daesh Behind Deadly Kabul Blast

Sat, 07/23/2016 - 13:57

A high-ranking Afghan security official has confirmed that Daesh was behind the deadly Kabul attack that claimed over 60 lives and wounded more than 200 on Saturday.

According to the official the attack was organized by a Daesh member by the name of Abu Ali who is a resident of Achin district in Nangarhar.

Daesh also claimed responsibility on social media for the attack. The message posted in English and in Arabic said "two Daesh fighters detonated their explosive belts amid a Shiite gathering in the Dehmazang area in Kabul, Afghanistan."

According to Afghan officials, there had been three bombers in total but security forces were able to kill the third bomber before he could detonate his explosives.

Minutes after the attack, President Ashraf Ghani denounced the deadly bombing and said it was an act of terrorism; however social media users blasted government for the incident.

A few minutes after the attack, Ghani's deputy spokesman wrote in a Facebook message that the president was shocked over the attack, but the post draw strong reaction from social media users with many blaming a security lapse by government forces for the incident.

"Why don't you (government) act instead of offer verbal sympathy," one user said.

Saturday's attack was the first of its kind at a peaceful demonstration. The suicide bombers joined thousands of Afghans before detonating their explosives in a crowded spot at the Dehmazang Circle.

Demonstrators had gathered from early Saturday at the rally in protest over government's planned route of the 500kV power line project through Salang to Kabul.

{youtube}CLaq0kPZ09U{/youtube}

Kabul Hospitals Appeal For Blood Following Deadly Attack

Sat, 07/23/2016 - 13:23

Kabul hospitals on Saturday afternoon appealed to the public for blood following the deadly twin-suicide bombing in Kabul earlier in the day.

By late afternoon the death toll had climbed to 31 and over 200 people had reportedly been wounded.

Three suicide bombers reportedly joined thousands of demonstrators on Saturday at the Dehmazang Circle in the city.

One suicide bomber succeeded in detonating his explosives, a second bomber detonated his vest but the bomb was defective and the third bomber was shot dead by security forces before he was able to detonate his explosives, said officials.

The peaceful demonstration had started early Saturday when demonstrators gathered to protest government's planned routing of the 500kV power line project.

President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday afternoon condemned the attack and ordered the NDS and Daoud Khan hospitals to take in the wounded.

Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah also condemned the attack and said on twitter the attack had been cowardly.

He said: "Terrorists must know that such attacks won't stop Afghans from standing together and making Afghanistan a better place."

"We need to step up and stand united against this and other such horrible atrocities. We must combat our enemies," he said.

"Our nation stands in solidarity and prays for all of those affected by this heinous and unjustifiable act of terror," he added.

"I condemn the attack and pray for those who lost their lives or got injured in the terrorist attack today."

He said that this attack showed that "Taliban terrorists have no respect for human lives."

However, the Taliban, in a statement issued by their spokesman, Zabihullah Mjahid, rejected responsibility for the attack and said they had played no role in the incident.

Ghani Addresses The Nation As Death Toll Climbs To 80

Sat, 07/23/2016 - 13:14

In a live television broadcast on Saturday night, President Ashraf Ghani addressed the nation following the deadly Daesh suicide bombing in Kabul city earlier in the day - which claimed the lives of at least 80 people.

Ghani condemned the attack that also claimed the life of at least one journalist.

He said: "I will get revenge on those who shed the blood of our citizens."

Ghani said it was a tragic day and he ordered Sunday be a day of national mourning.

He said: "Our enemies, by attacking civil liberties, think that they can divide us. But they will fail."

Ghani confirmed that one of three suicide bombers, that had joined demonstrators at the mass rally Saturday, had been gunned down by security forces before he could detonate his explosives.

"I have directed a special commission and the attorney general to investigate the incident and find those responsible," he said.

The Ministry of Interior on Saturday night confirmed the death toll had risen to 80 and that over 230 people were wounded.

United Nations Assisted Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) also condemned the attack against a peaceful demonstration.

In a statement issued by the organization, it said the two explosions occurred at Dehmazang Circle in Kabul city "targeted a peaceful demonstration, causing horrendous levels of civilian harm."

"This attack is particularly heinous because it targeted civilians as they exercised their rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression," the statement read.

"An attack deliberately targeting a large, concentrated group of civilians amounts to a war crime. This incident is an outrage that cannot be justified. It is an attempt to spread terror amongst civilians and stifle the freedoms that Afghans have sacrificed so much to obtain. The United Nations stands firmly with the people of Afghanistan as they seek to exercise their fundamental human rights," said UNAMA chief Tadamichi Yamamoto.

"I reiterate that international humanitarian law prohibits the deliberate targeting of civilians and international human rights law requires the government and non-state actors to respect and protect the rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression. The perpetrators of today's attack must be held accountable."

Resolute Support also strongly condemned the attack.

"Our condolences go out to those who are affected by today's attack," said Resolute Support Commander Gen. John W. Nicholson.

"We strongly condemn the actions of Afghanistan's enemies of peace and remain firmly committed to supporting our Afghan partners and the National Unity Government."

The Resolute Support commander also praised Afghan law enforcement officials and medical personnel whose efforts prevented additional casualties.

The United States Embassy in Kabul also spoke out against the attack.

In a statement issued by them, the embassy said it condemns "in the strongest terms the cowardly bombing attack that has claimed scores of innocent lives in Kabul during a peaceful demonstration in which citizens were exercising their constitutional rights."

Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack earlier Saturday.

The incident happened after thousands of demonstrators gathered at the Dehmazang Circle in the capital to protest against government's planned routing of the 500kV power line project.

 

Over 64 Dead, More Than 236 Wounded In Kabul Blasts

Sat, 07/23/2016 - 12:54

Officials confirm 64 people were killed and  at least 236 injured in Saturday afternoon's suicide bombing in Kabul city during a mass rally.

Officials said over 160 people are being treated at government hospitals and more than 40 are being treated at private hospitals.

Photographs and video footage taken by witnesses immediately after the blasts painted a horrific scene.

With smoke still rising, hundreds of people, many covered in blood, were filmed running from the scene.

Extensive damage was also caused to nearby buildings.

Police confirmed that among those wounded were at least three police chiefs – from PD1, PD3 and PD6.

Thousands of people had gathered from early Saturday in protest over government's planned routing of the 500kV power line project through Salang to Kabul.

Protestors want the line to run through Bamiyan instead.

Amnesty International meanwhile immediately condemned the attack and said: "The horrific attack on a group of peaceful protestors in Kabul today demonstrates the utter disregard that armed groups have for human life."

The organization's director for South Asia, Champa Patel said: "Such attacks are a reminder that the conflict in Afghanistan is not winding down, as some believe, but escalating, with consequences for the human rights situation in the country that should alarm us all."

Within an hour of the attack, angry demonstrators started regrouping in the Dehmazang Circle area. Many said they would stay on the streets until their demands are met.

One demonstrator said the protests will continue until the legitimate voice of the people is heard.

This comes after government overnight blocked most access points into the city center in a bid to prevent demonstrators from reaching the presidential palace.

MEHWAR: Enlightening Movement Blamed For 'Undermining' National Interests

Sat, 07/23/2016 - 12:37

Members of political parties, civil society activists and youths on Friday slammed the organizers of "The Enlightening Movement" and said they are undermining the nation's interests.

This comes just hours after negotiations between government and the organizers of the movement ended in deadlock.

The Enlightening Movement has called for a mass demonstration in Kabul on Saturday to press the government to run the 500kv electricity transmission line through Bamiyan province in central Afghanistan.

In this episode of Mehwar, host Massoud Malik discusses the topic with following guests.

• Laila Mohammadi, chairperson of women's committee of Enlightening Movement

• Laila Jafari, chairperson of human rights studies for peace in Afghanistan

Click below to watch full episode.

{youtube}ARax9hKfumQ{/youtube}

Suicide Bombing Rips Through Kabul Rally

Sat, 07/23/2016 - 11:23

Two explosions occurred Saturday afternoon at around 2.30pm at the Dehmazang Circle in Kabul city where thousands of demonstrators had gathered from early morning in protest over a planned power line project.

Early indications were that at least 20 people were killed and dozens wounded after three suicide bombers joined the crowd.

Police said one suicide bomber successfully detonated his explosives while the second bomb, which did explode, had been defective. The third bomber was killed by security force members at the scene before he could detonate his vest.

However, eyewitnesses said at least one bomber had been wearing a burqa.

Police told TOLOnews that among the injured were at least three police chiefs – from PD1, PD3 and PD6 in Kabul.

The horror attack was clearly visible within minutes of the blasts when photographs of the scene were posted to social media. It was immediately clear that the casualty toll would be high.

However, exact figures of casualties have not yet been confirmed.

Demonstrators gathered from early Saturday morning in protest over the planned 500kV power line project that government intends to roll out. The controversial project will see a new power line run from Turkmenistan through Salang to Kabul.

Protestors want the power line to be routed through Bamiyan instead.

Speaking to TOLOnews after the explosion, angry demonstrators said that they would continue to protest government's move.

Government meanwhile overnight blocked off access to the city with shipping containers so as to prevent demonstrators from making their way to the presidential palace.

President Ashraf Ghani soon after condemned the attack and sent condolences to the victims and the families of victims.

According to a press release he has directed the NDS and Daoud Khan hospitals to do everything possible to help the victims.

TOLOnews 10pm News 22 July 2016

Sat, 07/23/2016 - 11:00

Top news in this Bulletin:

Kunduz MPs and members of the provincial council on Friday blasted government for not keeping its promises made late last year after the fall of the city to the Taliban.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

{youtube}hk9wwVCRkAI{/youtube}

Members of political parties, civil society activists and youths on Friday slammed the organizers of "The Enlightening Movement" and said they are undermining the nation's interests.

WATCH: Protestors March Through Kabul Over Power Line Plans

Sat, 07/23/2016 - 09:14

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Kabul on Saturday in protest over government's planned 500kV power line project.

Hundreds of women also took part in the demonstration.

The rally, organized by the Enlightenment Movement, started in Dasth-e-Barchi in Kabul. Demonstrators then marched to Dehmazang roundabout.

Organizers of the rally are expected to issue a statement listing their demands later Saturday.

Government meanwhile once again closed parts of the city center with shipping containers ahead of the rally. Roads leading to the presidential palace have been sealed off.

Demonstrators took to the streets protesting against government's plan to route the new 500kV power line to Kabul through Salang. Protestors want the line diverted through Bamiyan.

{youtube}kPqpswgc2EY{/youtube}

Samangan's Dara-e-Sof District Cleared Of Taliban

Sat, 07/23/2016 - 08:48

The Afghan National Police, Afghan National Army and the National Directorate of Security (NDS) operatives launched a joint military operation in Dara-e-Sof district in Samangan, where they cleared the area of Taliban, a press release issued by the Interior Ministry said Saturday.

Three key commanders of the Taliban, named Khairullah, Abdul Haq and Bakhtiyar, were arrested in this operation, the statement added.

According to the statement, the commanders were involved in many terrorist activities in the district and other areas of Samangan. After eliminating this group, the security situation is expected to improve in the district.

The Ministry of Interior said it appreciates the Afghan National Security Forces for eliminating the terrorists' sanctuaries and that the operation will help strengthen security and stability in Samangan.

Kabul Partially Closed As Demonstrators Take To Streets

Sat, 07/23/2016 - 07:48

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Kabul Saturday morning in protest over the government's planned route of the 500kV power line project.

The rally, organized by the Enlightenment Movement, started in Dasth-e-Barchi in Kabul. Demonstrators then marched to Dehmazang roundabout.

Organizers of the rally are expected to issue a statement listing their demands later Saturday.

Government meanwhile once again closed parts of the city center with shipping containers ahead of the rally. Roads leading to the presidential palace have been sealed off.

A government delegation, led by economic advisor Homayoun Qayoumi and Masoom Stanekzai, the head of National Directorate of Security (NDS), met with Enlightenment Movement members on Friday in a bid to resolve the issues.

However, the meeting ended in a deadlock.

This latest rally comes after a mass march by the organization in May. Following the May rally, President Ashraf Ghani appointed a power project commission to assess the power project plans.

Government's plan is to run the electricity line, from Turkmenistan, through Salang to Kabul. However the Enlightenment Movement want the line to be routed through Bamiyan to Kabul.

At the time, the Enlightenment Movement rejected the commission's findings and threatened to carry out another mass protest if government failed to scrap its decision over the planned route.‎

Speaking at a meeting at the time, Mohammad Karim Khalili, one of the movement's leaders, said the commission ignored irrefutable facts and their protest will continue until the movement's demands are met by the government.

"The government must cancel cabinet's decision and meet the demands of the people; these people will not be intimidated," Khalili said.

The commission suggested that the controversial line should go through Salang. The Enlightening Movement said that no other alternative except for the cancellation of the council of ministers' decision is acceptable for them.

The government meanwhile has pledged to provide 300 megawatt electricity to Bamiyan and central parts of Afghanistan.

The commission has suggested that a power network should be built in Doshi area and from there 300 megawatt electricity should be supplied to Bamiyan and central parts of Afghanistan.

Indian Aid Worker Judith D'Souza Rescued

Sat, 07/23/2016 - 04:46

Indian aid worker Judith D'Souza has been rescued more than a month after she was kidnapped in Kabul.

India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said early Saturday on her twitter account "I am happy to inform you that Judith D'Souza has been rescued."

According to India's The Hindu, D'Souza, who is "safely" with Indian embassy officials in Kabul will return to India "very soon".

D'Souza worked with the Aga Khan Foundation in Kabul for some years and was due to return to India in a week when she was abducted on the night of June 9.

According to police, D'Souza had been visiting a friend and was in her car with a driver and security guard when they were overtaken by gunmen and forced into another car at gunpoint.

However, they let the two men go but reportedly asked D'Souza if she was a "foreigner", said police. The manner of her abduction made the police suspicious, however, and they kept both the driver and guard in custody. While officials would not reveal any details during the investigation, sources confirmed that interrogating the two men had given them significant leads that indicated the motive for her kidnapping was ransom, and that she hadn't, as feared by many, been targeted by the Taliban, media reports stated.

D'Souza was believed to be held by a gang in the Shomali Plains, close to the village of the two men in custody, India's media reported.

The D'Souza family in Kolkata — father Denzel D'Souza and mother Lawrence D'Souza along with sister Agnes D'Souza — were delighted to hear the news.

According to The Hindu, Afghan Ambassador to India Shaida Abdali said last week that he was "optimistic" of her return, saying her captors seems to be "gangsters, not terrorists" and were seeking a ransom before releasing her.

Panic And Terror In Munich Shooting Rampage

Sat, 07/23/2016 - 04:42

First came the crack of gunfire, then panicked screams and the wail of sirens as an armed attacker launched a killing spree in the German city of Munich on Friday.

Residents were going about their shopping at the busy Olympia mall, some eating at a McDonald's restaurant, when the horror began.

Panicked shoppers fled the building as armed anti-terror police flooded the streets in search of what was initially thought to be a group of three assailants but was later believed to be a young lone gunman armed with a handgun.

A police patrol shot and wounded the attacker but he managed to escape.

Authorities later discovered the body of the 18-year-old German-Iranian dead by his own hand just one kilometre (0.6 mile) from the mall.

Nine victims have been confirmed dead, and 16 others were wounded in the burst of violence, according to the latest official toll, as police revised earlier reports of a higher number of wounded.

While the manhunt was still under way police had called on residents of Germany's third-largest city to stay indoors, throwing the economic hub into lockdown.

"Attention -- avoid the neighbourhood around the OEZ (Olympia). Stay in your homes. Leave the street," a Munich police tweet said.

The Bavarian capital's main train station was evacuated and bus, metro and tram services were suspended.

Survivors of the rampage described terrifying scenes.

"We entered McDonald's to eat... then there was panic, and people ran out," one woman told Bavarian public television.

She said she heard three gunshots, "children were crying, people rushed to the exit in panic".

A video posted on social media appeared to show a man dressed in black walking away from a McDonald's while firing repeatedly on a group of people, who screamed as they fled.

- 'Bodies, injured people' -

A man who said he worked at one of the shops in the mall, described how he came face-to-face with the shooter.

"I looked towards him, he fired at two people and I fled the building by climbing a wall.

"And then I saw bodies and injured people," he said.

According to one of his colleagues, the attacker was wearing military boots and carrying a backpack, he said.

Police chief Hubertus Andrae said the man had shouted something as he started his rampage but it was not yet clear what.

Police initially thought they were dealing with three attackers but it turned out that two men seen in a car leaving the scene "had nothing to do with it", Andrae said.

The shopping centre, which opened in the 1970s and bills itself as Bavaria's biggest, was surrounded by armed police, while a helicopter buzzed overhead.

The mall is not far from the Olympic stadium which hosted the 1972 summer Games and the athletes' village, the site of the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes by the Palestinian Black September group.

In a neighbourhood located near the mall, schoolchildren and their parents were celebrating the end of the academic year when news of the shooting spree broke.

The families rushed home, on foot or by car.

German television broadcast footage of deserted streets as bars and cafes, normally bustling on a warm summer evening, quickly closed.

In a gesture of solidarity, Munich residents posted messages online inviting those stuck in the city into their homes.

However as the night wore on, the public was no closer to knowing why the shooter opened fire.

"The motive or explanation for this crime is completely unclear," Andrae told reporters.

TOLOnews 6pm News 22 July 2016

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 16:35

Top news in this Bulletin:

Kunduz MPs and members of the provincial council on Friday blasted government for not keeping its promises made late last year after the fall of the city to the Taliban.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

{youtube}5Aslt7xL5B0{/youtube}

 Members of political parties, civil society activists and youths on Friday slammed the organizers of "The Enlightening Movement" and said they are undermining the nation's interests.

MPs Blast Govt Over Kunduz War Strategy

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 16:20

Kunduz MPs and members of the provincial council on Friday blasted government for not keeping its promises made late last year after the fall of the city to the Taliban.

They said that government pledged to clear Kunduz of insurgents, but did not do so. According to them, this caused a vacuum and paved the way for the Taliban to reintegrate into the strategic town.

Meanwhile, security officials in Kunduz have said that security forces have recaptured several areas that collapsed to the Taliban this week, reiterating that security forces were powerful enough to thwart Taliban attacks.

In the wake of recent attacks by the Taliban on Kunduz's Dasht-e-Archi and Qala Zal districts, a number of lawmakers in parliament on Thursday blasted the political leadership for what they called a lack of strong commitment within government to eliminate the Taliban and curb their advance on strategic locations.

They said government leaders have failed to deliver on their promises to carry out comprehensive reforms to heal the scars the people of Kunduz suffered following the Taliban's takeover of the strategic town last year.

Back in September, the Taliban managed to seize control of Kunduz city for a few days - the first time the militant group seized a major city since 2001 when it was driven from power by the U.S.-led invasion.

"The deceptive policies of the central government has led to the miseries of the people of Kunduz," said Mohammad Yousaf Ayoubi, head of Kunduz provincial council.

It is said that insurgency in Kunduz directly impacts other northern and northeastern provinces of Takhar, Baghlan, Badakhshan and Balkh.

Political analysts say that threats in Kunduz and Takhar provinces have a direct impact on northern areas.

"Giving time to the enemy and delaying the operation for recapture of the areas will help the enemy to mobilize again, fallen areas must be taken back," said senator Abdullah Qarloq.

Amid the outcry, security officials in Kunduz have said that the security forces were well prepared and able to recapture the areas that had collapsed to the militants in Takhar and Kunduz provinces.

"We have received air and ground support, possibly we will recapture the fallen areas within one or two days," said Mohmand Katawazi, the commander of 209 Shaheen Army Corps.

Last September, the Taliban militants carried out a coordinated attack on Kunduz city and managed to seize control for a few days - the first time the militant group has seized a major city since 2001 when it was driven from power by the U.S.-led invasion.

This week's clashes have resulted in casualties for both sides.

"Casualties among the enemy is around 40 fighters, their wounded colleagues were left behind on the battlefields, one security personnel was martyred and four others were wounded," MoD spokesman Dawlat Waziri said.

Organizers of Enlightening Movement 'Undermining' National Interests

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 16:13

Members of political parties, civil society activists and youths on Friday slammed the organizers of "The Enlightening Movement" and said they are undermining the nation's interests.

This comes just hours after negotiations between government and the organizers of the movement ended in deadlock.

The Enlightening Movement has called for a mass demonstration in Kabul on Saturday to press the government to run the 500kv electricity transmission line through Bamiyan province in central Afghanistan.

"We do not accept a movement that brings the national interests under threat and people against the people," head of Hizb-e-Etemad Mardom Afghanistan party, Mohammad Amin Mohammadi said.

"Ethnic discrimination has hit new heights after the Enlightening Movement was created," civil activist Sayed Razi Alawi said.

Meanwhile, in another corner of Kabul, a number of residents from Bamiyan suggested that the project be transferred through Samangan-Bamiyan and not through Salang or Baghlan.

"From Khurram and Sarbagh, the project will cover areas such as Darah Soof, Saighan, Kuhmard, Sheebar, Central Bamiyan and Maidan Wardak," civil society activist Mubarak Shah Shahram said.

"It should be transferred from the nearest route to the center of the province," a tribal elder of Bamiyan Azim Jan Saighani said.

But, organizers of the movement are still firm on their previous stance.

"I call on all justice seekers in Kabul city and other provinces and all justice seeking people of the country across the world to come to the scene and continue their civil struggle," one of the organizer's of the movement Dawoud Naji said.

"Our peace protests scheduled tomorrow will be for unlimited time and we will remain on the streets," another organizer Ahmad Behzad said.

Led by President Ashraf Ghani's economic advisor Homayoun Qayoumi and Masoom Stanekzai, the head of National Directorate of Security (NDS), the government sent a delegation to hold negotiations with the organizers of the movement in an attempt to solve the issue, but it appears that the negotiations have failed as the movement's organizers insist on civil protests until their demands are met.

MoD Probes Possible Sale Of Weapons By ANA Officers

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 16:08

The ministry of defense on Friday announced it has launched an investigation into reports of alleged weapons sales by Afghan National army (ANA) soldiers.

Reacting to such allegations, some Afghan legislators in parliament have raised the alarm over what they called poor leadership within the security forces, which, they said, in some cases overshadows the responsibility of soldiers during battles.

According to Reuters news agency, reports indicate some soldiers and police sell weapons and ammunition to the Taliban, an issue that poses a problem for commanders trying to improve control over vital supplies like fuel and ammunition.

Based on the report, cases such as the selling of ammunition to the Taliban have been reported in some volatile provinces, particularly in the southern province of Helmand.

A senior Afghan officer in the army's technical and weapons branch, who did not want to be named as he is not authorized to speak publicly, said troops in Helmand and the northern province of Kunduz fired off 7,000 artillery shells in May alone in order to sell the casings.

"I don't think that any of our soldiers commit such an act, because our officers and commanders take their soldiers under their command and hold them accountable for every single bullet, despite that we have asked the intelligence department of the ministry of defense to assess the issue; if anyone had sold a single bullet shell they will face prosecution," a defense ministry spokesman, Dawlat Waziri, said.

This comes months after reports surfaced over large scale corruption over fuel contracts at the ministry of defense, an issue that forced President Ashraf Ghani to review the MoD's procurement process and contracts and the reshuffling of dozens of generals in the army.
"Similar allegations were reported in the past, but there is a need for an investigation to be launched to prevent such an act," MP Farooq Majroh said.

"Such activities pose serious harm to the entire system," political analyst Tahir Hashemi said.

Statistics show that the Pentagon provided $300 million USD in 2015 to fund and equip the Afghan security forces. However, the Afghan forces continue to plead for more equipment.

Human Rights Situation Remains Unstable: Report

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 16:02

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office said on Thursday that the human rights situation in Afghanistan continues to remain fragile and that the frequency of violent incidents against women has dramatically increased in the war ravaged nation.

The report indicates that the level of threats has increased in the country and that the Taliban still remains a potent threat to the nation's security and stability.

"The frequency of violent incidents against women has dramatically increased in Afghanistan, with over 5,000 cases recorded last year, including 241 murders," the report read.

"Documented cases of violence against women have risen, with 5,132 cases reported to the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) including 241 murders," the report read.

Zahra, one victim of domestic violence, was recently burnt to death by her husband in Ghor province. Her mother has meanwhile embarked on a hunger strike in Kabul in a bid to get the Afghan government, particularly the legal and judicial institutions, to serve justice on the man who committed the atrocity.

"We will continue our protest and will not bury the dead body unless our demands are met," the victim's father Mohammad Azam said.

"Our demand is to serve justice on the murderer and have a public trial," the victim's mother Taza Gul said.

"The overall human rights picture in 2015 remained poor. The insurgency continues to be the biggest threat to the human rights of all people in Afghanistan...The ongoing insurgency affected access to education, health, and freedom of movement," the report reads.

Meanwhile, rights groups have said that the lack of governance is common in some areas and a surge in violence in the country has exacerbated the issue.

"The report reveals the real situation of women in Afghanistan and it clarifies that violence increases against them daily and it becomes more horrific, and the women don't know where to turn," said Qadria Yazdan Parast, a commissioner of Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.

"Those who commit violence against women are not tried, the issue has increased violence against women," said Yazdan Parast.

In the report, the British government has said that to overcome the current turmoil in Afghanistan, efforts need to be done to accelerate the peace negotiation process between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

Based on the report, Afghanistan is in a state of political and social turmoil amid a rising Taliban insurgency and in the clutches of extended activities by militants associated with Daesh.

U.S Vows to Defeat Daesh in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 15:20

U.S Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has said that Daesh will be defeated in Iraq and Syria, but it will not be enough as the militant group continues its activities in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, U.S President Barack Obama has said that terrorist organizations such as Daesh and Al-Qaeda are posing harm to Muslims rather than other people.

"It is necessary to defeat ISIL (Daesh) in Iraq and Syria, it is not sufficient since this cancer in some cases is in Afghanistan and Libya," said Carter.

Obama says that Daesh and Al-Qaeda network are the real enemies of Muslims.

"In-fact it is ISIL and Al-Qaeda and organizations like those that are waging war on Muslim communities even during the Holy Month (Ramazan) and discriminating against Muslim Americans is also an afront to all those values that are making our nation great, so on days like this and every day we need to be clear about what we stand for," said Obama.

The U.S officials renew their anti-Daesh struggle at a time that the group has once again expanded its activities in the eastern province of Nangarhar and continue to recruit in five districts in Kunar province.

TOLOnews 10pm News 21 July 2016

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 09:02

Top news in this Bulletin:

Humayoun Muhtat, the head of Electronic National Identity Card (e-NIC) department Thursday said that politics and legal issues are delaying the rollout of electronic identity cards, reiterating his department's full readiness to launch the much-awaited process.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

{youtube}xb-Z4ZAR2sk{/youtube}

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, on Thursday advocated for broader involvement by Afghan women in the peace talks process between government and insurgent groups, saying a peace process without the participation of women was not acceptable to the organization.