Quick Reaction Force airstrikes cause heavy casualties to Taliban and civilians – Herat
The airstrikes in Shindand district of Herat on Wednesday left 60 civilian casualties killing Mullah Nangialai, a commander of a fractured branch of the Taliban.
Toryalai Taheri, the deputy head of Herat Provincial Council, told Ariana News that as a result of the drone airstrike by the Quick Reaction Force in Shindand district, Mullah Nangialai and 15 of his bodyguards were killed.
He underlined that the airstrike was conducted Wednesday in Shindand district of Herat Province killed and wounded 60 civilians. The local government and Herat Police remained silent while the head of Herat Ambulance Services, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammadi said that only nine victims including were transferred to the central hospital.
Mullah Nangialai was the leader of a fractured branch of the Taliban in Shindand district who was cooperating with the government. Political experts in Herat indicated that the death of Mullah Nangialai who was a prominent rival of Mullah Samad was related to the recent tensions between Iran and the USA.
The USA has frequently accused Iran of supporting the Taliban in the west of Afghanistan.
In the meantime, the Afghan Ministry of Defense announced in a statement that they will investigate the reports on the casualties of the incident.
IEA confirms death of five MoD employees in Herat attack
The Ministry of Defense of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) confirmed Thursday that five employees of the 207th Al-Farooq Corps in Herat were killed in an attack.
The ministry said that the employees were killed and several others were injured as a result of an attack by unknown gunmen who targeted a Coaster mini bus carrying medical personnel from the Corps.
So far, no group has claimed responsibility for this attack.
On Thursday morning, local sources said that armed men attacked the vehicle carrying the employees of Al-Farooq military corps from inside a rickshaw in Joy Injil area of Herat city.
The IEA’s Ministry of Defense has said that the enemy cannot “weaken the determination of defense employees and personnel” by launching such attacks. The ministry has said that it will suppress the enemies.
Girls put artworks on display at Herat exhibition
A group of nearly a dozen young girls have showcased 105 artworks including paintings and calligraphies in an exhibition in Herat province.
The exhibition has been held on the occasion of teachers’ day.
The organizers said that by holding the exhibition they wanted to highlight the significance of the art of painting and showcasing girls’ talents.
“We launched the exhibition on the occasion of teachers’ day. Although the schools are closed, we still care about our teachers and education. This is a message to the government that we, the Afghan girls, will continue to enhance our skills under any circumstances,” said Alnaz Frotan, an artist.
The artworks at the exhibition each carries a specific message, and local officials welcomed holding of the exhibition “Painting and calligraphy are among the valuable and historical arts of the ancient Herat. It is the duty of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to help the arts,” said Naeem-ul-Haq Haqqani, Herat’s director of information and culture.
The artists said that there are some restrictions, but their work hasn’t been affected.
“Although there are some restrictions, but our art continues like how it was in the past. We will never stop, but will work like in the past and create artworks,” said Kawsar Omar, an artist.
“We showcased some Islamic artworks, including calligraphies and modern paintings. All the artists are girls. We want to motivate girls to have such achievements in existing circumstances,” said Saeqa Jamshidi, an artist.
Several arts exhibitions have been held in Herat in recent months. Artists call on government to help their artworks get international exposure.
Virtue and Vice Ministry reject claims of ordering gender segregation in restaurants
The Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has rejected claims that orders were given to restaurants in Herat to separate male and female patrons.
This comes after reports emerged recently that officials from the provincial department of promotion of virtue and prevention of vice visited restaurants and instructed owners to separate patrons according to their gender.
However, Herat officials said this was a misunderstanding and that segregation is not being enforced and that families can eat together in restaurants and spend time together in parks.
One restaurant manager in Herat, Basir Ahmad Ahmadi, said: “When families came, we had to tell the family to sit apart … and when we told the families, they said they would go home to eat.”
Jawad Tawangar, an employee at one restaurant in Herat, said: “Fortunately, after the Ministry of Virtue and Vice responded in Kabul, the issue of restrictions has returned to normal and restaurants can allow families to eat together again.”
The spokesman for the ministry, Akef Mahajer, meanwhile said no one has the right to prevent families from walking in public together.
Mahajer: “Our compatriots can go to a hotel and restaurant with their families and have tea or go shopping with their families. The reports of segregation were untrue.”
Herat officials also said no order to this effect has been issued and that families can visit restaurants together.
Naeem ul-Haq Haqqani, Herat’s director of information and culture, said: “We reject [the reports of segregation] completely and it is not true.”
“Sitting around a table and eating with the family is not a problem from the Islamic point of view, nor from the custom of the community, but it can be useful for encouraging families and for getting more involved in the community,” said Negina Barak, a resident of Herat.
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