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Fifteen civilians killed in Balkh and Kabul explosions



(Last Updated On: May 26, 2022)

Fifteen people were killed and more than 30 were injured in Wednesday’s explosions in Kabul and Balkh – all of which were civilians.

The survivors of the victims of these blasts have meanwhile called on the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) to arrest and punish the perpetrators of these incidents.

Security officials say specific circles involved in the explosions want to present an insecure image of Afghanistan, and security forces are working to identify and eliminate these groups.

Among the victims in the Mazar-e-Sharif explosions were women, officials confirmed.

The injured are being treated at a district hospital in Balkh province, and many of the injured have lost body parts, officials stated.

“This is my sister who lost her leg in the explosion and also a 17-year-old sister and a relative of mine were martyred. These were school students who were studying in the school, but we are surprised. For what crime were they martyred? We call on the government and the international community to stop the bloodshed,” said Ghulam Ali, one victim’s brother.

The Balkh explosion killed nine people and injured 15 others.

“I lost someone who was my brother. He worked with a cart. Four sons and three daughters are left behind from him,” said Mohammad Juma, a deceased’s relative.

“We call on the Islamic State of Afghanistan to prevent such incidents. How long will people die of suffering, hunger and explosions? They were not guilty, they were just trying to bring a piece of bread to their families,” said Mohammad Yusuf, another relative of a victim. 

Meanwhile, in Kabul, an explosion on Wednesday took place at the Zakaria Mosque in PD4. Eight worshipers were killed and about twenty others were injured.

Reacting to the attacks, security agencies say they are seeking to identify and destroy those who want to paint an insecure picture of Afghanistan.

Wednesday’s attacks have been condemned both inside and outside.

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Pakistan to import coal from Afghanistan in rupees



(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



(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



(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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