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One killed, three wounded in Kabul airport shooting: Reports



(Last Updated On: August 23, 2021)

German forces reported an exchange of fire with unidentified gunmen on the north side of Kabul airport on Monday, leaving one Afghan security force member dead and three others injured. .

CNN reported clashes reportedly began between Afghan forces and unknown individuals and led to the intervention by German and American forces.

Sources told Ariana News that Taliban officials at Kabul airport have entered into talks with US forces to resolve the challenges faced in the past week.

Reports indicate that a sniper reportedly opened fire on Afghan guards inside the facility, and the Afghan security forces responded with fire. However reports state that when the US forces opened fire, one Afghan soldier was killed and three others were wounded.

The Taliban has meanwhile appealed to the public not to gather outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport.

“Although people have problems, we ask them to please leave the place and let those who have documents travel. We advised the Mujahidin to treat the people well,” said Mawolavi Fateh, a Taliban commander at Kabul airport.

Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority has also said that all civilian flights have been suspended until further notice. The authority has also asked the public not to go to the airport.

“We ask people to please stop the chaos. Only those who have a document or visa in hand can travel, there is no civilian flight at the moment,” said Sibghatullah Kakar, a Civil Aviation Authority employee.

Despite multiple calls from the Taliban and organizations for people without documents or visas to stay away from the airport, hundreds continue to flock there daily in the hope of getting on an evacuation flight.

“I have NATO documents, I worked with Spanish forces, I also have documents, but I cannot travel due to overcrowding,” said Ali Jan, a resident of Parwan.

“There is no way of entering the airport, everyone coming here says they are going to America; these people don’t have documents,” said Assadullah, a resident of Kabul.

This comes after US President Joe Biden said late Sunday that Washington has an unwavering commitment to getting American citizens and at-risk Afghans out of Afghanistan.

Biden said the security situation in Afghanistan was changing rapidly and his administration was concerned about the threat from Islamic State (Daesh) in Afghanistan.

Haji Mohammad Idris has meanwhile been appointed as acting director of the Central Bank in a bid to resolve the issue of banks being closed, said Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.

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US House committee chair signs subpoena for State Dept Afghanistan documents



(Last Updated On: March 28, 2023)

The U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee chairman said on Monday he signed a subpoena to be delivered to Secretary of State Antony Blinken for documents related to the August 2021 U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Michael McCaul has launched an investigation into the messy withdrawal from Afghanistan under Democratic President Joe Biden and events in the country since.

Republicans – and some Democrats – say there has never been a full accounting of the chaotic operation, in which 13 U.S. service members were killed at Kabul’s airport, Reuters reported.

McCaul had given the State Department until Monday to produce the documents.

“Unfortunately, Secretary Blinken has refused to provide the Dissent Cable and his response to the cable, forcing me to issue my first subpoena as chairman of this committee,” McCaul said in a statement.

He said the subpoena would be delivered on Tuesday morning.

About two dozen U.S. diplomats in Afghanistan sent a confidential cable through a so-called dissent channel warning Blinken in July 2021 of the potential fall of Kabul to the Taliban as U.S. troops withdrew from the country, The Wall Street Journal reported in 2021.

Blinken said during a hearing last week that the department had already shared information and was working to provide more, but that some specific details could only be shared with senior officials, a move intended to protect the identity of those who had expressed dissent.

Asked by Reuters for comment on the subpoena, the State Department referred to remarks by spokesperson Vedant Patel at Monday’s press briefing. Patel said it was “vital to us that we preserve the integrity” of the dissent channel. He said the department was “prepared to make the relevant information in the cable available through briefings or some other mechanisms.”

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IEA urges UN to remove sanctions against its members



(Last Updated On: March 27, 2023)

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) officials have once again called on the United Nations to remove the names of IEA members who are on the UN blacklist, and said the international community should engage with the group instead of putting pressure on it.

The UN Security Council failed to reach an agreement to extend travel exemptions, allowing 13 Islamic Emirate officials to travel abroad, which expired in August 2021.

“Some 20 to 25 Islamic Emirate officials are on the UN blacklist and have been sanctioned. Some of them have died, and a few are working with the caretaker government,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, the IEA’s spokesman.

According to Mujahid, adding pressure and force will not bear results. The war of the past 20 years has proven that the people of Afghanistan will not surrender to pressure. Instead, engagement and negotiations are ideal options to reach a comprehensive conclusion, he added.

In addition, inclusion of the Islamic Emirate officials on the UN blacklist violates the Doha Agreement, Mujahid said.

The Doha Agreement is a peace deal between the US and the IEA aimed at restoring peace in Afghanistan. The agreement was signed in Doha in 2020, finalizing the US withdrawal from Afghanistan contingent on IEA security assurance that Afghan soil will not be used against the US by al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

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Japan contributes $21 million for life-saving vaccines in Afghanistan



(Last Updated On: March 27, 2023)

The Embassy of Japan in Afghanistan on Monday announced that Japan has contributed $21 million for life-saving vaccines for mothers and children, and water and sanitation facilities in schools.

With this funding, UNICEF will provide clean water for 30,000 people in four provinces, and vaccines for 18.3 million mothers and children across Afghanistan.

Amid the devastating humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, the government of Japan has donated to UNICEF $18 million in support of essential vaccines for over 18 million mothers and children, and $3.6 million for water and sanitation facilities in public schools.

The vaccines are for measles, rotavirus, tetanus and diphtheria, polio, hepatitis B and others. These funds will also enable UNICEF to reach around 10 million children with oral polio vaccines during national vaccination campaigns in 2023.

“This support from the Japanese government will not only help to give mothers and children the immunity boost they need to stay healthy, but it will also improve sanitation and hygiene in schools,” said Rushnan Murtaza, UNICEF Afghanistan Deputy Representative.

“Complementing our past support to Afghanistan in health, nutrition and education, we hope these contributions will create cleaner, safer learning environments and communities for children and their families,” says Takashi Okada, Ambassador of Japan to Afghanistan.

Water and sanitation projects will be implemented in Ghor, Uruzgan, Zabul and Pakitika which are among the most deprived provinces in Afghanistan, according to UNICEF officials.

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