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Afghans call for Taliban forces to wear uniforms



(Last Updated On: September 8, 2021)

Afghans from around the country have called for Taliban forces to wear uniforms in order to make them easily identifiable and to stop opportunists from committing crimes.

Members of the public have said by wearing uniforms, criminals will not be able to take advantage of the situation and that the necessary coordination will be established between the people and the Taliban.

A Taliban spokesman, meanwhile, said the responsibility of providing security has been given to those with uniforms and that other Taliban forces without uniforms are not allowed to interfere in security matters.

Although the Taliban is said to be effective in securing cities, a number of residents in the capital say it is difficult to distinguish between these forces and criminals, especially armed robbers, and that Taliban responsible for maintaining order must wear uniforms in order to reassure the people.

“There are many armed people in the city and we do not know who is a Taliban and who is not a Taliban and it should be determined for us with special clothes,” a Kabul resident said.

The residents of Kabul emphasize that some thieves pretend to be Taliban to harm the people and rob them.

“The Taliban who are for security must wear military uniforms and the people must know them and not be deceived,” said another resident.

A Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, meanwhile, said more security was currently being provided by special forces in military uniforms, and that efforts were being made to remove non-security forces from Kabul and to prevent them from being involved in security.

“Special units are activated and have special uniforms. These forces can either operate and stop or try to stop the criminals, and those who do not have a uniform will soon either leave Kabul or will not be allowed to interfere in people’s lives and intervene in the security sector,” said Mujahid.

The Taliban say that in the past few days, nearly 50 people have been arrested on charges of theft and harassment and that efforts are being made to ensure security so that members of the public do not feel threatened.

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EU calls for investigation into poisoning of Afghan schoolgirls



(Last Updated On: June 8, 2023)

The European Union has called on the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) to investigate the poisoning of primary schoolgirls in northern Sar-e-Pul province after at least 77 students were hospitalized.

Two separate attacks took place in Sar-e-Pul province on Saturday and Sunday, local authorities said.

Sixty schoolgirls were poisoned in Naswan-e-Kabod Aab School and 17 others were poisoned in Naswan-e-Faizabad, said the head of the provincial education department Mohammad Rahmani. He said the attacks happened at the start of classes and students were vomiting and had asthma, vertigo and headaches.

Rahmani said the department’s initial investigation showed the person who orchestrated the poisonings had a personal grudge and that a third party was paid to carry out the attacks. He has not said what kind of substance officials believe the girls were poisoned with, and local authorities have not provided updates on the attack.

The EU in a statement called the poisonings a “heinous crime that needs to be followed up by the de facto authorities,” in line with their obligations to protect the population under international law.

“Right to education is the human right of all children, everywhere. Schools need to be safe places for all children.”

In a tweet on Wednesday, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West said he was deeply concerned by reports that scores of schoolgirls may have been poisoned in Afghanistan’s Sar-e Pul province. “Urge every measure be taken to investigate and keep children safe! Afghans deserve education without fear or restrictions,” he said.

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24 people including 8 children die in Sar-e-Pul traffic accident



(Last Updated On: June 7, 2023)

At least 24 people died in a traffic accident on Wednesday in Sar-e-Pul province of Afghanistan, local officials said.

Din Mohammad Nazari, the spokesman of the Sar-e-Pul Province Police Command, said eight children, 12 women and four men died in the accident.

According to Nazari the accident happened in Sayad Sarpul district on Wednesday afternoon when a passenger vehicle left the round.

Nazari said the accident was the result of careless driving.

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US special envoy says reports of IEA crackdown on poppies are ‘credible’



(Last Updated On: June 7, 2023)

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West said on Wednesday that reports about the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) cracking down on poppy cultivation are “credible and important”.

West said in a tweet that “reports that the Taliban (IEA) have implemented policies to significantly decrease opium poppy production this year are credible and important.

“Every country in the region and beyond has a shared interest in an Afghanistan free of drugs,” he said.

His comments come after the BBC reported on Tuesday that an investigation by the media outlet found a marked decrease in poppy cultivation across Afghanistan this year.

The BBC reported that it traveled in Afghanistan – and used satellite analysis – to examine the effects of a decree issued in April 2022 by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada that the cultivation of poppies, from which opium, the key ingredient for the drug heroin can be extracted, was strictly prohibited.

The news outlet stated that IEA leaders appear to have been more successful cracking down on cultivation than anyone ever has.

“We found a huge fall in poppy growth in major opium-growing provinces, with one expert saying annual cultivation could be 80% down on last year. Less-profitable wheat crops have supplanted poppies in fields – and many farmers say they are suffering financially,” the report stated.

Provinces visited by the BBC included Nangarhar, Kandahar and Helmand. Studies of satellite images were also done.

“It is likely that cultivation will be less than 20% of what it was in 2022. The scale of the reduction will be unprecedented,” said David Mansfield, a leading expert on Afghanistan’s drugs trade, who is working with Alcis – a UK firm which specializes in satellite analysis.

Alcis’s analysis shows that poppy cultivation in Helmand has reduced by more than 99%. “The high resolution imagery of Helmand province shows that poppy cultivation is down to less than 1,000 hectares when it was 129,000 hectares the previous year,” said David Mansfield.

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