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Rockets fired at Presidential Palace during Eid prayers

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(Last Updated On: July 20, 2021)

Three rockets landed close to the Presidential Palace in Kabul city during Eid al-Adha prayers, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) said.

According to the MoI, the rockets landed outside the palace at around 8 am Tuesday on the first day of Eid.

Mirwais Stanekzai, a spokesman for the MoI, stated that the first rocket hit close to the Edgar mosque, the second one landed close to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the third one landed in the Chaman-e-Hozori area of the city.

He said that the rockets were fired from the Parwan-e-Se area of Kabul.

Stanekzai added that no one was killed or wounded in the blasts.

No group including the Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

President Ashraf Ghani, meanwhile, blamed the Taliban for the attacks.

Ghani also condemned the attacks, stating that the Taliban has no intention of stopping the war nor of killing people.

However, a number of people, who were gathered outside the Emergency Hospital in Kabul, stated that their relatives were wounded in the rocket attacks inside the Presidential Palace. Police have not confirmed this.

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Afghan man charged in killing of 2 Muslims in Albuquerque

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(Last Updated On: August 10, 2022)

Police in the United States on Tuesday charged an Afghan man with murder after identifying him as the prime suspect in the murder of at least two of four men in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

The suspect, Muhammad Syed, 51, who has lived in the US for five years, was arrested on suspicion of carrying out ambush shootings in the area against Muslim men. 

Police Chief Harold Medina said it was not clear yet whether the deaths should be classified as hate crimes or serial killings or both.

Investigators received a tip from the city’s Muslim community that pointed toward Syed, himself a Muslim, police said.

Local media reports indicate Syed, a Sunni, was angry about his daughter having married a Shiite. However, police have said they are investigating all possible motives.

Ahmad Assed, president of the Islamic Center of New Mexico, acknowledged that “there was a marriage,” but he cautioned against coming to any conclusions about the motivation of the suspect, who he said attended the center’s mosque “from time to time.”

Naeem Hussain, a 25-year-old man from Pakistan, was killed Friday night. His death came just days after those of Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, 27, and Aftab Hussein, 41, who were also from Pakistan and members of the same mosque.

The earliest case involves the November killing of Mohammad Ahmadi, 62, from Afghanistan.

For now, Syed is charged in the killings of Aftab Hussein and Muhammad Afzaal Hussain because bullet casings found at the crime scenes were linked to a gun found at his home, authorities said.

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Khulm district officially moved from Balkh to Samangan

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(Last Updated On: August 9, 2022)

Khulm district has been detached from Balkh province and is now part of Samangan province, a senior official said on Tuesday.

Deputy Interior Minister Mohammad Mohsin Hashimi, visited the region and said that government had decided to incorporate Khulm district into Samangan province.

Hashimi said that he had been instructed to transfer administrative and security responsibilities for Khulm district to Samangan province in the presence of the governors of both the provinces and give assurances to the local people and security forces.

Balkh Governor Qudratullah Abu Hamza said that security responsibility for Khulm district has been handed over to Samangan authorities.

Meanwhile, Abdul Rahman Kunduzi, the governor of Samangan, dismissed concerns that the move would affect businesses in Khulm district which has until now been part of a province that sits on vital trade routes into Central Asia

“There is no problem for investment in any province,” Kunduzi said.

Khulm district initially had been part of Samangan province, but it was moved to Balkh province during Hamid Karzai’s rule.

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Russia successfully launches Iranian satellite

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(Last Updated On: August 9, 2022)

A Russian rocket on Tuesday successfully launched an Iranian satellite into orbit from the Russia-leased Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan, AP reported.

The Soyuz rocket lifted off as scheduled at 8:52 am Moscow time. About nine minutes after the launch, it placed the Iranian satellite called Khayyam into orbit. It’s named after Omar Khayyam, a Persian scientist who lived in the 11th and 12th centuries.

Iran has said the satellite fitted with high-resolution camera will be used for environmental monitoring and will remain fully under its control.

Tehran said no other country will have access to information it gathers and it would be used for civilian purposes only, but there have been allegations that Russia may use it for surveillance of Ukraine amid its military action there.

If it operates successfully, the satellite would give Iran the ability to monitor its archenemy Israel and other countries in the Middle East, AP reported.

Yuri Borisov, head of Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos, hailed the launch as an “important landmark” in cooperation between Moscow and Tehran.

Iranian state television aired footage of the launch live, noting that the country’s telecommunications minister attended the liftoff in Kazakhstan. Tehran said the satellite will help improve productivity in the agriculture sector, survey water resources, manage natural disasters, confront deforestation and monitor border areas.

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