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Daesh militants moving from Middle East to Afghanistan: SCO chief

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(Last Updated On: January 30, 2021)

The secretary-general of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Vladimir Norov said on Friday ISIS (Daesh) militants have moved to Afghanistan from the Middle East and posed a threat to regional security.

Speaking at a webinar organized by the Islamabad Policy Research Institute, Norov said he was concerned about the deteriorating situation along the border regions of Afghanistan.

Norov said: “According to the SCO regional anti-terrorist structure, the numbers of fighters arriving in the north of the country [Afghanistan] are growing.”

These militants were moved from Syrian and Iraqi conflict zones and posed a threat to the SCO member states, he added.

Norov also said that Daesh members use information and communication technologies in Afghanistan to promote the ideology of terrorism and manage the terror group’s sleeper cells.

Jumakhon Giyosov, the SCO Director of the Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure, also said the growing number of Daesh militants in Afghanistan was a serious threat to the region.

“There is an increase in the number of militants arriving in northern Afghanistan, whose leaders are actively interacting with the leaders of the other terrorist organizations,” Giyosov said.

He added that the transfer of experienced militants from Syria to Afghanistan has posed threats to the region including Central Asia.

This comes after security sources confirmed earlier this month that China and Tajikistan have increased the number of border troops and outposts along their borders with Afghanistan.

An Ariana News reporter also reported having seen the increase in military presence after flying over the area in a helicopter.

According to border guards in Badakhshan, the two neighboring countries have ramped up their military presence in case the Daesh threat increases should a peace deal be sealed with the Taliban.

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121 children among those killed in Afghanistan earthquake: UNICEF

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(Last Updated On: June 25, 2022)

The United Nations children’s agency said on Friday 121 of those who were killed in the 6.1-magnitude earthquake in Afghanistan this week were children.

Mohamed Ayoya, UNICEF Representative to Afghanistan, said as of late Thursday night, at least 1,036 people were reported killed and more than 1,643 reported injured.

The toll included 121 deaths and 67 injuries among the children, according to the official.

He said that Bermal district in Paktika province has the highest number of casualties and that several thousand homes were destroyed or damaged.

“Children and adolescents are extremely vulnerable and at high-risk of family separation, emotional and psychological distress, abuse and exploitation, and other forms of violence,” Ayoya said.

“UNICEF, in coordination with UN agencies, partners, and the de facto authorities (led by the Ministry of Defence) is rapidly preparing a multi-sectoral response covering health, WASH, child protection, nutrition, education, social mobilization, and including a cash component,” Ayoya said.
“UNICEF will be conducting a rapid market assessment in the affected areas in the upcoming days. The assessment will inform the feasibility and appropriateness of cash as a response to support early recovery. UNICEF has already trained partners for beneficiary registration on the ground.”

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Pakistan dispatches second consignment of earthquake relief

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(Last Updated On: June 25, 2022)

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday dispatched eight trucks loaded with relief goods for earthquake victims in Afghanistan.

According to a statement issued by the Pakistan government, the consignment, arranged by the National Disaster Management Authority, has been handed over to Afghan authorities.

The consignment consists of family tents, tarpaulins, blankets and emergency medicines.

“Pakistan is committed to continue supply of relief goods to Afghan brethren,” the statement read.

This comes after Pakistan sent in earthquake aid on Wednesday, just hours after the 6.1 magnitude earthquake hit Afghanistan’s eastern provinces, killing over 1,000 people and destroying thousands of houses.

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Taiwan announces $1 million for Afghan earthquake relief efforts

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(Last Updated On: June 25, 2022)

Taiwan will donate $1 million to Afghan earthquake relief efforts in response to a call from the United Nations and others for humanitarian assistance, the government said late on Thursday.

Taiwan’s presidential office said in a statement that the government would donate “based on the spirit of humanitarian care for disaster relief regardless of national borders (and) responding to the United Nations and other humanitarian calls,” Reuters reported.

However Taiwan will not send search and rescue teams after consulting with other countries and considering the difficulty of transportation, office spokesman Xavier Chang added.

Taiwan also lies in a quake-prone zone and regularly sends rescue teams to other disaster areas around the world.

China meanwhile has said it stands ready to provide Afghanistan aid, and on Friday its foreign ministry said that it is “stepping up efforts” to collect cash, tents, bed quilts and other humanitarian aid to deliver to Afghanistan as soon as possible, but did not offer details of the size of the aid package.

Around 1,000 people are already confirmed dead from the quake in a remote part of the country this week.

Earlier, the European Union announced 1 million euros for the earthquake relief efforts in Afghanistan.

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