Afghan forces have pulled out from Musa Qala district in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan, a security officials has revealed.
The commander of the Afghan army’s 215th corps, Mohammad Moeen Faqir, has told Reuters news agency that governmental troops had been ordered to pull back from Roshan Tower, their main base in Musa Qala, as well as other checkpoints to reinforce Gereshk.
A local representative has warned of further collapses as he believes Musa Qala is a strategic district of Helmand province.
“Now that the government has withdrawn its forces from this district, we will see Kajaki, Gereshk and Sangin collapsing very soon,” said deputy provincial council member Abdul Majid Akhundzada to Reuters.
There was no comment from the ministry of defense in Kabul, but Abdul Jabar Qahraman, presidential envoy for security affairs in Helmand has said they have “learnt there was no need to continue the fight in that area”.
Taliban militants, who have been fighting for the control of Musa Qala district in the restive and poppy growing Helmand province, are yet to make comment.
Mass grave found in Kandahar; UN calls for investigation
Kandahar officials have reported the discovery of a mass grave in the province’s Spin Boldak district.
Noor Ahmed Saeed, the head of information and culture, told the Voice of America (VOA) on Monday that the mass grave was found three days ago.
Saeed said the bodies of 12 people were found in the grave.
“The bodies of 12 people were found in the villages of Boldak district. Nine years ago, these dead people were taken from their homes and shops by late General Abdul Raziq. They were taken away and then killed without trial,” Saeed told VOA.
However, claims that the deceased were killed by Razaq have not been independently confirmed, nor have family members of Razaq who live outside of Afghanistan confirmed this claim.
Razaq was killed on October 18, 2018, in an attack in Kandahar province.
The United Nations has called for an investigation into the claims. Patricia Gossman, Asia Special Deputy of the Human Rights Watch Commission, wrote on her Twitter page the grave should be secured and investigated by forensic experts.
“Discovery of grave sites makes it all the more urgent that authorities prevent acts of revenge. As UN HRC discusses ways to support accountability in Afghanistan, vital that all alleged crimes be investigated as part of process that leads to justice, according to int’l standards,” Gossman tweeted.
The special rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Department for Afghanistan, Richard Bennet, also asked the authorities not to touch the remains of the dead in order for forensic tests to be done, VOA reported.
Floods in Kandahar leave six dead
At least six people have died in flash floods in southern Kandahar province since Tuesday, local officials said Wednesday.
Mawlavi Taher, Maroof district police chief, in Kandahar, confirmed that six people had died in floods in parts of his district on Tuesday night.
He said the district’s security department compound was also destroyed in the floods.
Meanwhile, the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARC), has provided 1.4 million AFN in cash assistance to flood-affected families in Mianshin district of Kandahar province.
According to ARC they have also so far helped 279 flood-affected families in Spinboldak district in Kandahar.
This comes after almost two weeks of heavy rain across southern and eastern provinces in the country.
Panjshir residents have also reported that heavy rain has caused widespread damage to properties in Dara and Abshar districts in the province.
Locals said heavy rain started falling on Tuesday night in Dara district and destroyed the Dara-e-Abdullah Khel road.
Officials from the disaster management department in Panjshir confirmed however that no casualties had been reported but that bridges and canals have been destroyed.
Weather officials have however warned of more rain to come over the next two days across eastern Afghanistan.
IEA supreme leader meets Kabul religious scholars
A group of 50 religious scholars from Kabul province met with the supreme leader of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), Mawlavi Haibatullah Akhundzada, in Kandahar to discuss problems faced by Kabul residents and women’s rights issues.
The meeting took place at the request of the leader of the IEA.
Religious scholars have asked the supreme leader to pay special attention to education and to make changes in the curriculum if necessary.
The scholars also discussed women’s rights within the framework of Islamic Sharia and the issue of girls’ education. The supreme leader assured the religious scholars that the problems of the capital will be taken care of.
“The main purpose of this meeting was to solve the problems of the capital city and to convey his orders to the people from the pulpit of mosques and through scholars,” said Nada Mohammad Nadim, governor of Kabul.
Scholars said they addressed the issue of women’s problems, and respecting women’s rights within the framework of Islam, and the revision of school curriculum.
“For the supreme leader, there is no difference between mujahid and non-mujahid, and everyone has equal rights,” said Abdul Hamid Hamasi, a religious scholar.
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