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Houses rented to kidnappers, Daesh militants ‘will be seized’

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(Last Updated On: September 19, 2022)

Qudratullah Abu Hamza, Balkh’s governor, warned home owners Monday that houses rented to kidnappers and Daesh militants will be confiscated.

Hamza called on residents of the northern province to support the IEA security forces and to not allow such elements to settle in residential areas.

He said should home owners ignore this warning, the IEA will identify houses rented by kidnappers and militants and seize the properties and prosecute the owners.

“The houses that were given to the kidnappers will not be returned to their owners. The houses that were given to Daesh will be seized and the owner of the house, and people in charge of the area will be introduced to the attorney general.

“If they provide houses to kidnappers, or Daesh, the owners will be dealt the same punishment as the kidnappers and Daesh,” said Hamza.

The decision has been met with mixed reaction by civil society activists in Balkh.

“Crime is an individual act by the suspect or accused person. If they are caught and identified, after an investigation, they can be introduced to judicial institutions,” said one activist.

While Balkh is a fairly secure province, a number of kidnappings have been reported in the province over the past few years. 

The most high-profile case of them all was that involving

Abdul Rauf, who was nine years old at the time of his abduction.

He was rescued and reunited with his family in April – two years after being kidnapped.

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UNICEF creates 140 classes for children in Paktika and Khost

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(Last Updated On: September 12, 2022)

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announced on Sunday that it has created 140 community-based educational classes for children in Khost and Paktika provinces.

UNICEF said in a tweet that this project will provide 4,000 children with the opportunity to learn and learn lessons.

On Saturday IEA officials shut down girls schools above the sixth grade that had briefly reopened after a recommendation by tribal elders and school principals.

Earlier this month, four girls schools above grade 6 in Gardez, the provincial capital, and one in the Samkani district began operating without formal permission from the Education Ministry.

On Saturday, all five schools were once again closed.

Following the closure, some female students protested against the closure of their schools.

The students chanted slogans regarding the right to education in front of the provincial directorate of education of Paktia province.

Last week, reports from Paktika emerged that a few schools had been reopened for girls based on residents’ demands in Gardiz city.

However, Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, said at the time he was not aware of details regarding the move.

“I don’t have detailed information about this yet, and investigations are underway to find out under what measures the schools are opened and to whose guidance,” he said.

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Some girls’ high schools in eastern Afghanistan reopen

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(Last Updated On: September 7, 2022)

Authorities in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Paktia said girls’ high schools had opened in recent days, though the move had not been officially approved.

Most girls’ secondary schools in Afghanistan have been closed since the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) took over in August 2021 after the group made a sudden U-turn on promises to open them in March.

“The schools have opened some days ago, the rules about Islam, culture and customs are observed, the principal of schools asked the students to come back to school and the girls’ high schools are open,” Mawlawi Khaliqyar Ahmadzai, head of Paktia’s culture and information department, told Reuters.

However, Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, on Tuesday told an Ariana News journalist that he does not have any details on this reported move.

“I don’t have detailed information about this yet, and investigations are underway to find out under what measures the schools are opened and to whose guidance,” he said.

A spokesperson for Paktia’s education department confirmed that girls’ high schools have opened but said his department was not informed in advance and they had sent a letter to the national education ministry and were waiting for a response.

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5.3 magnitude earthquake strikes Kunar province

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(Last Updated On: September 5, 2022)

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake at 2.27am Monday in Kunar province has left at least 10 people dead or injured, officials said. 

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) the 5.3 magnitude quake struck 34 km north east of Jalalabad at a depth of only 10km. 

Kunar officials said that as a result of the earthquake in Nurgol district, dozens of houses were also destroyed. 

Officials said the casualty toll could rise as search operations were still underway. 

The quake was felt across a wide area, including Kabul. Residents reported they were woken up by the seismic event.  

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