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MoD rejects claims that Faryab district has fallen to Taliban

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(Last Updated On: March 11, 2021)

Faryab Provincial Council members on Thursday claimed Almar district in the province had fallen to the Taliban but the Ministry of Defense said there was no truth in these reports.

According to Faryab council officials, government forces were under siege for several days in Almar but eventually withdrew after widespread attacks by the Taliban.

They said the district fell once troops withdrew and that both sides sustained heavy casualties.

However, other officials said that security forces retreated from the district center in order to “prevent casualties of civilians and local forces.

“Security forces surrounded the Taliban but they managed to escape and move to Khawja Osman base which is 4 km away from the center of Almar,” local sources said.

In addition to this, Faryab police said that acting district police chief Mohammad Amin Patang crossed sides on Wednesday afternoon and joined the Taliban.

Abdul Karim Yourish, a spokesman for the provincial police chief also said Patang had joined the Taliban. He said this was due to the intensity of the Taliban attacks.

Yourish said Patang was appointed as acting police chief of Almar three months ago.

Security sources in the district meanwhile said a number of security and defense force members in the district had been under siege but that the siege was broken Thursday and the trapped security force members had been rescued.

The Ministry of Defense meanwhile denied claims that Almar district had fallen to the Taliban and said in a statement that ANDSF conducted an operation in the district and cleared large areas of Taliban. The MoD emphasized that the district is under ANDSF control.

“The published news about the fall of Almar district of Faryab province is incorrect. ANDSF conducted an operation in the district and cleared off vast areas of Taliban and the district is under control of ANDSF,” MoD said in a statement.

Provincial Governor Naqibullah Fayeq also denied reports of the district having fallen to the Taliban but said he has decided to move the staff out of the government district office due to security threats.

“Today’s operation, which was aimed at rescuing soldiers, [resulted in] 36 Taliban being killed in the area; the enemy line was defeated and the Taliban lost the ability to confront the security forces. The operations of the commandos continue and tonight the remaining parts of Almar Bazaar will be cleared of the enemy,” Fayeq said.

The Taliban has not yet commented.

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2,000 kg drugs destroyed in Zabul

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(Last Updated On: December 9, 2022)

Local officials in Zabul say 2,000 kilograms of drugs seized recently were torched and destroyed in the southern Afghan province.

The drugs had been seized at a security checkpoint while being transported in Shah Joy district, said Abdul Sattar, head of operations at counter-narcotics department of Zabul.

He said that one person was arrested in connection with the smuggling of the drugs, and was referred for prosecution.

In a major crackdown on illegal practices in the country, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) supreme leader in April issued a decree banning the cultivation of poppies.

The decree stated that in addition to this, usage, transportation, trade, export and import of all types of narcotics are strictly banned.

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Pakistan to import gas from Turkmenistan via Afghanistan: report

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(Last Updated On: December 9, 2022)

The government of Pakistan, facing gas shortage as winter sets in, has worked out a plan to import liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) overland from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan, Pakistan Today reported on Thursday.

The customs office in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan, after consultations with stakeholders, sent a plan to the Federal Board of Revenue to import LPG across the Chaman border, the paper said, citing sources. The federal government is ready to take the big step of importing LPG from Turkmenistan and will allow entry of tanker trucks, the sources said.

Afghan haulers plan to drive empty Pakistani tanker trucks across the Chaman border to the border with Turkmenistan in Torghuni to fill them with LPG. They will then drive back to Chaman and hand the trucks over to Pakistani haulers, who will deliver the gas to the point of destination in Pakistan, according to the report.

The documents cited by Pakistan Today lay out three plans: immediate, short-term and long-term. Under the first, imports will begin immediately, while the short-term plan will require six to eight months and the long-term plan, which calls for setting up a station to load LPG into Pakistani fuel trucks, will take one year.

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Refugees minister visits Panjshir province

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(Last Updated On: December 9, 2022)

The minister of Refugees and Repatriation (MoRR) has traveled to Panjshir province and met with Mohammad Mohsen Hashemi, the governor of Panjshir, and other officials of government departments, institutions and influential people of this province.

On the trip to Panjshir province on Thursday and visiting the officials of this province, Khalil-ur-Rehman Haqqani, minister of refugees, said that the Islamic Emirate has no enmity with any ethnic or linguistic group.

He said that fighting in the past was to free the country from occupation, which has now ended.

At this meeting, Haqqani, while congratulating the victory of the Islamic Emirate and the consolidation of the Islamic system, asked the people and officials of Panjshir to continue living together with the spirit of brotherhood, friendship, intimacy and confidence.

He also emphasized that the enmity, war and struggle were for the consolidation of the Islamic system, providing security, defending the territorial integrity and ending the occupation, and with the consolidation of the Islamic system, there is no reason for enmity among Afghans.

The minister of refugees thanked the donor institutions for their cooperation and asked them for more assistance in the whole country, especially for the residents of Panjshir, and emphasized that the survey and distribution should be done in understanding and coordination with the MoRR and relevant departments.

He also visited Panjshir Immigrant Affairs Department and gave the necessary instructions to prevent corruption and solve the problems of returnees and displaced people.

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