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Afghan security forces suffer ‘shockingly high’ casualties

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(Last Updated On: June 7, 2021)

At least 150 Afghan troops have been killed or injured in the last 24 hours in a surge of attacks by Taliban militants, senior government officials told Reuters on Monday.

According to the officials, fighting is now raging in 26 of the country’s 34 provinces.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity as the Afghan government does not give total tallies on deaths and injuries among security forces, said casualties were “shockingly high”.

This comes amid a sharp increase in the number of clashes between the Afghan security forces and the Taliban – all while US forces and NATO troops continue to withdraw.

“In the past 24 hours, there were unfortunately 157 casualties among forces,” one senior official said on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to speak to the media.

The spike in Taliban attacks meanwhile comes amid rising concerns that Afghan government forces could lose the single most important military advantage they have over the Taliban — air power — when private contractors and U.S. troops leave the country.

Roughly 18,000 foreign contractors in Afghanistan provide an array of key services to the Afghan security forces, but they are expected to leave the country along with U.S. and NATO troops in the coming weeks.

NBC reported that without the help of foreign contractors, Afghan forces will no longer be able to keep dozens of fighter planes, cargo aircraft, U.S.-made helicopters and drones flying for more than a few more months, according to military experts and a recent Defense Department inspector general’s report.

According to Bradley Bowman, senior director of the center on military and political power at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank, air power is the Afghan government’s main competitive edge in its fight against the Taliban.

Bowman, a former U.S. Army officer and Black Hawk helicopter pilot who served in Afghanistan said with the withdrawal of contractors “we’re talking about the more or less grounding of the Afghan Air Force.”

“If we don’t help them maintain those aircraft, then the Afghan security forces will be deprived of that advantage and that could have a decisive impact on the battlefield and ultimately on the state of the Afghan government,” he told NBC.

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Islamabad wants Beijing to talk to Kabul about terrorism, Pakistani minister says

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(Last Updated On: May 19, 2024)

Islamabad would like Beijing to speak to Kabul about the issue of terrorism, Pakistan’s Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal said.

Speaking in an interview with VOA released on Sunday, Iqbal said that Pakistan has concerns on certain groups that are operating out of Afghanistan and carrying out terrorism actions.

“The terrorists who committed the recent incident against Chinese workers also came from Afghanistan, so I think this is a cause of concern, and we also hope that China would also persuade Afghanistan because Afghans listen to the Chinese government in the region,” Iqbal said.

The official said that as a result of crises and conflicts over the last couple of decades in Afghanistan, Pakistan has not been able to invest in its infrastructure, and its economy has developed two major bottlenecks – energy blockage and infrastructure blockage.

Referring to Afghanistan, he said that Pakistan has an agreement with China to have a third country as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) has previously rejected Pakistan’s allegations against Afghanistan over security incidents.

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Floods leave 18 dead, destroy hundreds of homes in Faryab

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(Last Updated On: May 19, 2024)

At least 18 people have died and two others have been injured following floods in Faryab province on Saturday night, the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation announced Sunday.

The flash floods occurred in Pashtunkot, Almar, Qaisar, Belcheragh, Khyber and Dawlat Abad districts, the ministry said in a statement.

560 houses, 850 acres of agricultural land, 110 shops and a mobile clinic were destroyed as a result of the floods, according to the statement.

In addition, 300 livestock perished and 2,000 fruit trees were destroyed, the statement said.

This comes just a week after deadly floods left over 300 people dead in northern Afghanistan.

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IEA leader approves law on prevention of begging

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(Last Updated On: May 19, 2024)

The Ministry of Justice announced Saturday that Mawlawi Hebatullah Akhundzada, the leader of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), has approved the law on collection of beggars and preventing begging.

The law has three chapters and 27 articles, and is published in the official gazette of the Ministry of Justice.

According to the law, begging is prohibited for healthy and working people and those who can secure their one-day meal.

The law also prohibits the use of children and the disabled for begging.

According to the law, professional beggars who use a child or a mentally ill person or a disabled person for the purpose of begging, will be sentenced to one month in prison by the court, and their organizers will be sentenced to up to six months in prison.

In 2022, the leader of the Islamic Emirate ordered the collection of beggars. Tens of thousands of beggars have been rounded up so far.

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