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Death toll in Logar truck bombing rises to 26

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(Last Updated On: May 1, 2021)

The death toll in Logar’s truck bomb blast has risen to 26, local officials said Saturday afternoon.

According to the officials, an explosive-loaded truck detonated at a guesthouse while people were breaking their fast on Friday evening.

The officials stated that most of the victims were students, who were waiting to take the university entrance exam (Kankor).

At least 110 others were wounded in the explosion.

“The blast took place at around 7 pm. All the victims are students who came to the city to participate in the Kankor test,” Abdul Qayum Rahimi, Logar governor said.

The blast, meanwhile, left millions of Afghanis in losses to civilians, Rahimi said.

According to Rahimi, dozens of shops and markets, the provincial public hospital, and residential houses were badly damaged in the incident.

The blast also prompted a local and international outcry.

First Vice President Amrullah Saleh condemned the “heinous terrorist attack” in Logar.

“The car bomb has killed and injured dozens of civilians mainly 12-grade graduates in a private hostel preparing for University entry exams,” Saleh tweeted.

Saleh blamed the Taliban. The group, however, has not commented in this regard.

“Pakistani supplied ammonium nitrate and explosives,” VP Saleh added.

“I strongly condemn yesterday’s cowardly terrorist attack against the civilians in Pul-e Alam in Logar Province during Iftar time in Ramadan. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families at this difficult time,” HCNR Chairman Abdullah Abdullah said.

In the meantime, Ross Wilson Chargé d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Kabul also condemned the blast.

“We condemn this and all acts of violence against Afghans. My condolences to the families and friends of the victims,” Wilson tweeted.

UK Embassy in Kabul also condemned the attack, stating: “This senseless violence against civilians must stop.”

“In the holy month of Ramadan, horrible news of a car bomb in Pul-e-Alam, Logar province, killing and injuring innocent civilians, including students, this evening. This is a tragedy for the whole country and our thoughts go to all affected. This senseless violence must stop,” the EU stated.

UNAMA stated that the UN was “outraged by a suicide-vehicle blast at a guesthouse in Pul-e Alam Logar last night which killed 21 men and injured more than 100 other persons, including 16 children and 12 women, according to preliminary findings.”

So far, no group including the Taliban or Daesh has claimed responsibility for the attack.

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Pakistan to import coal from Afghanistan in rupees

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(Last Updated On: June 28, 2022)

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has approved the import of coal from Afghanistan in rupees instead of US dollars, saying the move will help the country save precious foreign exchange.

Sharif on Monday chaired a meeting on improving the transportation system of coal imported from Afghanistan in the country, the Express Tribune reported.

He expressed deep concern over the rising price of coal on the international market, saying it was the main reason for generating expensive electricity from coal-fired power plants in the country.

“The coal imported from Afghanistan in rupee terms will not only generate cheap electricity but also help save the country’s precious foreign exchange,” Sharif said.

The prime minister was informed that import of coal from Afghanistan would save more than $2.2 billion annually.

Sharif also directed the Ministry of Railways to take all necessary steps to ensure prompt delivery of coal imported from Afghanistan to power plants.

The PM ordered the formation of a committee of all officials concerned headed by the defence minister to expedite the import process.

Esmatullah Burhan, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, told a press conference on Tuesday that Pakistan was a good market for coal exports, which should not be lost.

He said that revenue from coal exports under IEA rule were far higher than under the last government.

Ahmad Wali Haqmal, finance ministry spokesman, said tax on coal exports was increased to 30% from 20%.

The official said that until now coal was being sold at $90 per ton, but from now on it will be sold at $200 per ton.

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Four killed, 11 injured in traffic accidents in Badghis and Takhar

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(Last Updated On: June 28, 2022)

Four people were killed and 11 others were injured in two separate traffic incidents in northern provinces of Badghis and Takhar, officials said on Tuesday.

The incident in Badghis involved a Land Cruiser vehicle which crashed on the road between the provincial capital of Qala-e-Naw and Bala Murghab district on Tuesday morning, said Baz Mohammad Sarwari, the provincial director of information.

Four people were killed and eight others were injured in the incident, he said.

Those injured were transported to Kabul by helicopter, the official said.

The incident in Takhar involved a TownAce truck that ran off the road on Monday evening, injuring three people.

The vehicle was on its way from the provincial capital of Taluqan to Warsaj district when the incident happened, said Abdul Mobin Safi, a spokesman for Takhar police.

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Afghanistan leads world in negative experiences

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(Last Updated On: June 28, 2022)

Afghanistan in 2021 displaced Iraq from the top spot on the Negative Experience Index that the latter had occupied for the two previous years, Gallup said in a survey report released Tuesday.

According to the report, worry, stress and sadness soared to record levels in Afghanistan in 2021: 80% of Afghans were worried, 74% were stressed and 61% felt sadness much of the day.

No other population in Gallup’s 16 year trend has ever reported feeling this much worry, the reported noted.

Gallup said Afghans’ lives were already in a tailspin before the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) returned to power in 2021. Most Afghans were struggling to afford food and shelter, few felt safe, and they saw their lives getting worse with every passing year, it said.

Gallup surveys conducted in August and September — as the U.S. withdrew and IEA took control — reveal Afghans were losing the remaining joy that they had, the report said.

Afghanistan’s score of 59 on the Negative Experience Index was the highest score on record for the country and the highest score in the world in 2021. However, Afghanistan falls short of having the highest score on record for any country: The Central African Republic posted a score of 61 in 2017.

Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman of IEA, rejected the report as “propaganda.”

“The reality is that after IEA’s takeover most citizens are feeling safe and have a sense of ownership and they are happy,” Karimi said on Twitter.

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