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Afghan-U.S. Forces ‘Destroy $80m in Drug Money’ During Counter-Taliban Campaign

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(Last Updated On: December 13, 2017)

Afghan-U.S. forces have eliminated 25 narcotics processing labs in Helmand province which equals to almost $80 million of drug money, since launch of an air campaign aimed at countering the Taliban revenue, NATO mission has said.

Speaking via teleconference from Kabul, U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Lance Bunch, who is Chief of the Resolute Support Mission’s future operations division told reporters $16 million of the $80 million in destroyed funds was set for “direct revenue” to the drug lords’ Taliban partners. 

Bunch said “Using air power, we have been able to target the Taliban in their so-called safe zones, command-and-control nodes, illicit revenue-generating ventures, and their logistical networks.”

“This new air interdiction campaign directly strengthens the Afghan defense forces and their continued battlefield successes, he said.

According to the U.S. military, the Taliban receives about $300 million to $400 million a year with about $200 million of it coming from the production of heroin.

Bunch said the Afghan National Interdiction Unit conducted two simultaneous raids of Taliban narcotics bazaars, as part of the campaign which resulted in more than 2 tons of heroin and more than 5.5 tons of opium being seized.

The campaign continues and Bunch stressed that the Taliban will face a long winter “as we will continue to disrupt their revenue sources again and again and again.”

He stressed that Taliban have been completely unable to achieve any objectives from their declared Operation Mansouri during this fighting season.  “In addition to their unrealistic goals, they have been unable to take a provincial capital or even a single city. This year the Taliban and have fared poorly.”

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West should change it’s view of Afghanistan: IEA defense chief

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(Last Updated On: May 22, 2022)

The West should change the way it looks at Afghanistan, acting defense minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), Mohammad Yaqub Mujahid, said on Sunday.

“Whether it is US or Europe or other countries, they should change the mindset they had for 20 years about Afghanistan. They should look at Afghanistan differently,” Mujahid said at a ceremony to mark the sixth death anniversary of Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, the late leader of the IEA.

Amir Khan Muttaqi, the acting foreign minister, said at the same event that they would face the same fate as former president Ashraf Ghani if they fulfill foreigners’ demands.

Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi meanwhile assured the people that the IEA will prevent injustice in Afghanistan.

“We consider it our Islamic obligation. We will stop anyone who oppresses people anywhere in Afghanistan,” Hanafi said.

Mullah Akhtar Mansoor headed the IEA for almost a year before he was killed in a US drone strike in Baluchistan, Pakistan on 21 May 2016.

Speaking at the ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar said that the IEA had advanced significantly in its armed struggle under the leadership of Mansoor.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, however, warned that governments opposed by the public will not last long.

“Women have not been granted their Sharia rights. A widow still cannot choose her husband. A girl cannot choose her husband. Everyone will laugh if a woman demands her inheritance rights,” Stanikzai said.

He said that girls have not been granted their right to education.

“Education exists in Afghanistan, but not how it should be. Grant them their rights. Where can women learn Islam and Sharia. They learn in Madrasas and schools,” Stanikzai said.

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One wounded in Kabul explosion

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(Last Updated On: May 22, 2022)

Kabul police confirm an explosive device was detonated on Sunday afternoon in front of the Istiqlal Hotel in PD15.

The explosion happened outside the hotel where a commemoration ceremony was being held to mark the sixth death anniversary of Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, the former leader of the IEA.

Khalid Zadran the police spokesman said that based on initial reports at least one person was wounded in the blast.

Security forces have reached the area and an investigation is underway, Zadran added.

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Muttaqi, US special envoys agree to continue engagement over key issues

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(Last Updated On: May 22, 2022)

Amir Khan Muttaqi, the acting minister of foreign affairs, held a telephone conversation with Thomas West, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan, and Rina Amiri, the US Special Representative for Afghan Women, on Saturday where they discussed issues around recent US developments regarding the financial sector, in particular the banking sector.

According to Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), they also discussed political and humanitarian issues.

Muttaqi told the US envoys there had been progress in Afghanistan’s financial sector, which was a positive step. He also said the IEA had made numerous achievements in a number of areas.

“Security has been established, Daesh has been suppressed and no one has been allowed to use Afghan territory against others,” Muttaqi said.

He also said that despite challenges, the banking system in the country is now active, the Afghani currency has retained its value, the government has been able to pay salaries to its 500,000 former employees and tens of thousands of new employees without discrimination, and the new budget has been approved.

West in turn tweeted after their discussion that he “spoke with Taliban’s (IEA) Amir Khan Muttaqi this morning. Conveyed unified international opposition to ongoing and expanding restrictions on women and girls’ rights and role in society.

“Girls must be back in school, women free to move and work without restrictions for progress to normalized relations.

“Also discussed economic stabilization to support Afghan people, concerns about terrorist attacks on civilians, and recent dissolution of important institutions,” he said.

“Dialogue will continue in support of Afghan people and our national interests,” West said.

Rina Amiri, meanwhile, shared her concerns and views on women’s education, their right to work and called on the IEA to work on improving the situation for women.

On the other hand, Muttaqi said that Afghan women work in the fields of education, health, passports and other areas.

He said: “A decree has been issued regarding the hijab and Afghan women have no problem with it, another decree on banning drugs has also been issued and implemented.”

Both sides agreed to continue interacting in a bid to resolve key issues.

Norwegian Ambassador to Kabul Ole Lindeman also spoke with Muttaqi and discussed the current situation in Afghanistan and developments in humanitarian, health and economic spheres.

According to the foreign ministry, during the meeting the Norwegian ambassador said security in Afghanistan was in the interest of the whole world, adding that bilateral relations between Afghanistan and Norway would play a crucial role in addressing challenges.

Highlighting the favorable security situation in Afghanistan, Muttaqi said that now the door is open for the world to support Afghanistan.

Muttaqi called on all to monitor the situation in Afghanistan closely, and “not judge the new rulers based on propaganda by media and opposition, and assess facts themselves.”

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