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Al-Qaeda’s second highest leader Was Killed in Iran: New York Times

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(Last Updated On: November 14, 2020)

The New York Times quoting intelligence officials said, that Abu Muhammad al-Masri, al Qaeda’s second-highest leader, accused of being one of the masterminds of the deadly 1998 attacks on American embassies in Africa, was killed in Iran three months ago.

The report says that Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, who went by the nom de guerre Abu Muhammad al-Masri, was gunned down on the streets of Tehran by two assassins on a motorcycle on Aug. 7, the anniversary of the embassy attacks.

Al-Masri was killed along with his daughter, Miriam, the widow of Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza bin Laden, the report says.

The attack was carried out by Israeli operatives at the behest of the United States, according to four of the officials. It is unclear what role if any was played by the United States, which had been tracking the movements of Mr. al-Masri and other Qaeda operatives in Iran for years, the report says.

Al-Masri, who was about 58, was one of Al Qaeda’s founding leaders and was thought to be first in line to lead the organization after its current leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, according to NY Times.

US authorities had offered a $10-million reward for any information leading to his capture.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry “strongly” denied the report and said there were no Al-Qaeda “terrorists” on Iranian soil.

“From time to time, Washington and Tel Aviv try to tie Iran to such groups by lying and leaking false information to the media in order to avoid responsibility for the criminal activities of this group and other terrorist groups in the region,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said.

The report of al-Masri’s killing comes weeks after the killing of two other senior al Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan by local security forces.

In October, Afghan security forces killed Abu Muhsin al-Masri, another person on the FBI’s terrorist list, while the Afghan government this month announced that it had killed yet another senior al Qaeda commander.

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International community must not forget Afghans: refugees minister

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(Last Updated On: May 28, 2023)

The international community should not forget the Afghan people and should not politicize the humanitarian issue, the country’s minister of refugees and repatriation said on Sunday.

“We ask all the countries of the world to put politics, formalities and military issues aside. Immigration has its own rules. The ministry of refugees was created to solve the problems of refugees,” Khalil-ur-Rahman Haqqani said in an aid distribution ceremony in Kabul.

He noted that now that peace prevails throughout Afghanistan, the international community should cooperate with them in returning Afghan refugees instead of forcing Afghans to migrate.

“The international community should provide livelihoods and transportation facilities. The international community should not forget the people of Afghanistan,” Haqqani said.

In Afghanistan, many families struggle with poverty, so women and men stand in long queues to receive aid.

Among the needy women, there are also those who have even been forced to give their children to others out of poverty.

“I gave my daughter to my sister out of necessity. I could not afford bread and clothes for her,” Gulnar, one of the needy women said.

“My husband is jobless. We are four in our family,” Shakiba, another woman said.

Although aid is a short term solution to helping the needy, officials have called for large, sustainable programs in order to eradicate poverty.

“Ten aid items will be distributed. These materials are enough for a family of five to seven people for three months. We have also considered nutritional balance. For example, this aid includes flour, rice, dal, sugar, tea and salt,” said Fariduddin Nouri, head of Women for Afghan Women NGO.

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Afghanistan, Pakistan set up task team for cross-border movement

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(Last Updated On: May 28, 2023)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) has announced that a joint committee will be established between the consular section of the ministry and the Pakistani embassy in Kabul in order to facilitate the movement of nationals between the two countries.

According to the ministry, an agreement was reached on the formation of this committee on Saturday in a meeting between Amir Khan Muttaqi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the IEA and Obaid ur Rehman Nizamani, Chargé d’Affaires of the Pakistan Embassy in Kabul.

In this announcement, which was published on the Twitter page of Hafiz Zia Ahmad, the deputy spokesman of the foreign ministry, it is stated that an agreement was reached on the creation of this committee at the “request and insistence” of the foreign minister.

Ahmad added that the charge d’affaires of the Pakistani embassy requested an extended visa period for Pakistani students who come to Afghanistan to study.

According to the Deputy Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Muttaqi has “assured” the charge d’affaires of the IEA’s cooperation in this regard.

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Afghanistan hit by magnitude-5.2 earthquake

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(Last Updated On: May 28, 2023)

A magnitude-5.2 earthquake occurred in northeastern Afghanistan at 10:19 on Sunday, with it’s epicenter 36 km southeast of Jurm.

The quake was felt across the region including parts of India, Pakistan, and southern Tajikistan.

There have been no initial reports of damage or casualties as a result of the earthquake.

However, it could take several hours until authorities can conduct comprehensive damage assessments, especially in remote areas.

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