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Taliban offensives intensify in Ghazni, Baghlan and Helmand

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(Last Updated On: May 6, 2021)

While heavy clashes are ongoing in various parts of the country, reports indicate that the Taliban is advancing on key cities in Baghlan and Ghazni provinces.

According to reports a number of soldiers have been killed in clashes with the Taliban in Ghazni and Baghlan provinces while an unknown number have surrendered to the Taliban.

Baghlan

Officials reported that Shahr-e Kohna region of Baghlan-e Markazi district of Baghlan province has fallen to the Taliban.

Local officials confirmed and said there had been no clashes between government forces who carried out a tactical retreat.

Meanwhile, sources said that last night troops from two checkpoints in this district surrendered to the Taliban.

Although the district governor has denied the surrender of security forces from two army checkpoints in the district, Mohammad Safdar Mohseni, head of the provincial council, told Ariana News that at least 60 soldiers, equipped with weapons and equipment from two checkpoints have surrendered to the Taliban.

Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said most of the areas in Baghlan-e-Markazi district had been captured by the group.

He also said more than 200 security forces had joined the group and taken their military hardware with them.

Ghazni

Local officials from Ghazni province reported that four army check posts have fallen to the Taliban in the province.

According to officials, two security check posts in Arezo village of the province have fallen to the Taliban.

Abdul Jame Jami, a member of the Ghazni Provincial Council said the fate of 24 security force members from the checkpoints is unknown.

The official added that with the fall of these two checkpoints, the Taliban are now close to Ghazni city.

He warned that if the security forces are not managed properly, the city of Ghazni will fall to the Taliban.

Meanwhile, a credible source told Ariana News that two check posts fell to the Taliban on Wednesday night in Khowaja Omari district.

According to the source at least 15 policemen were killed in the incident.

The Ministry of Defense has not yet commented on the allegations.

Clashes around the country

Clashes intensified in parts of the country after the US forces officially started withdrawing troops on Saturday.

A number of experts believe that the Taliban have increased the number of attacks ahead of the Istanbul Conference in a bid to gain more leverage in talks.

Currently, intense fighting is underway in Helman province, which has resulted in thousands of people fleeing their homes.

The US also reportedly assisted Afghan security forces overnight by carrying out airstrikes against the Taliban in the province.

On Wednesday, General Sami Sadat, commander of Maiwand Corps, said that the Taliban had carried out 89 attacks in different parts of Helmand province, and that all of the attacks were met by force from the Afghan security forces. He said the Taliban sustained heavy casualties.

“The morale of the Afghan forces is high and they have access to good equipment and with the available equipment they can defeat the Taliban,” Sadat added.

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Herat youths call on IEA to create job opportunities

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(Last Updated On: August 16, 2022)

The young generation of Herat province has raised concerns about the high rate of unemployment in the province and said no initiatives have been taken over the past 20 years to create job opportunities for them.

According to them, hundreds of experienced and educated people have lost their jobs over the past year and that in this time the Department of Information and Culture has only managed to organize some training programs aimed at improving the capacity of young people.

“What we were hoping for was to change the system and take serious action for the youth, but as you can see, men and women are unemployed, girls’ schools are closed,” said Fatima Rezai, a resident of Herat.

“Unfortunately, the problems of the youth are economic problems and the current situation is known to everyone, there is no work and the projects have stopped, therefore, there is a need to restart these projects,” said another resident.

However, Herat’s Department of Information and Culture said that during the last year, efforts have been made to retain the youth who worked for the previous government, and that many of them are still employed within the department.

“We promise all our people, especially our youth, that in various sectors where there are gaps, Inshallah the Islamic Emirate will take action to solve it as soon as possible,” said Naimulhaq Haqqani, director of Herat’s Information and Culture department.

Hussain Naemi, head of youth affairs at the department said: “So far, we have been able to organize training classes for 1,000 young people, and in the field of youth capacity building, we have also done various technical and web workshops, English and computer classes.”

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10 million students being educated at 19,000 facilities: Education Ministry

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(Last Updated On: August 16, 2022)

Education ministry officials said Tuesday that currently, there are 19,000 educational institutions in the country with an enrollment of about 10 million students.

Speaking at the formal accountability session in Kabul, the acting deputy Minister of Education said: “There are currently 19,000 public and private educational institutions with about 10 million students in the country, and a total of 242,000 teachers, including 92,000 female teachers, engaged in teaching in these institutions.”

According to officials, over the past year, 142,000 certificates have been distributed to Grade 12 graduates and graduates from madrassas.

In order to eliminate ambiguity and remove ghost employees, the exact number of teachers, students and schools have been tallied over the past year, officials said.

According to them, currently, 10,147,024 students, 6,243,809 male students and 3,903,215 female students, are enrolled at education facilities.

Assessments have also been carried out of educational documents of Grade 12 and 14 students. So far, about 400,000 students have registered for the exam to become teachers.

In addition to this, the ministry has undergone a change in the organizational structure, officials said. According to them, four deputies have been appointed while 67 directorates have been established and 290,000 posts created.

Over the past year, about 16,000 vacant posts have been filled by qualified staff and a further 10,000 posts will be made available soon.

With the help of UNICEF, 37 million textbooks have been printed and distributed in the past year. Officials also said that with UNHCR’s help, 20,000 tents will be provided and used as make-shift schools.

Abdul Khaleq Sadiq, head of the quality assurance department of the Ministry of Education also addressed the event and said the plan around reopening girls’ schools will be completed soon.

“The reopening of schools is an issue that all officials of the Ministry of Education are committed to, but this closure is a delay and the school reopening plan will be completed.”

However, members of the public have said the closure of girls schools is a disaster and that Afghanistan has long been a “victim of ignorance and illiteracy”. Members of the public have said the Islamic Emirate should provide education for men and women across all sectors, whether religious sciences or contemporary sciences.

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Afghan refugees in UK told to look for private accommodation

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(Last Updated On: August 16, 2022)

Afghan refugees who sought asylum in the UK after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) took over Afghanistan a year ago have been told to look for private accommodation as the government-funded accommodation scheme winds down.

In a letter sent to the Afghan refugees, the Home Office warned that not every council would accept their request for a place on the social housing list and has told them to use estate agent websites in the private sector, Anadolu News Agency reported.

“The use of hotels to house those resettling from Afghanistan is a temporary solution, and we continue to work with over 350 local authorities to move Afghan families from hotels to permanent accommodation as quickly as possible,” a statement from the Home Office said.

“To support the resettlement of Afghan families, local authorities are given £20,520 ($24,809) per person over a three-year period. They have the flexibility to use this funding to contribute towards renting accommodation, including deposits, letting fees and furnishing,” it added.

Although the government is still accommodating up to 9,500 Afghan refugees in hotels, with 7,000 rehoused, the Home Office is planning to wind down the use of hotels to house refugees, Anadolu reported.

Rights groups and charities, however, have voiced concerns over the lack of funding, guidance and assistance offered to the refugees and fear that many families will fall into homelessness as a result.

Afghan families and individuals, many of whom have only been in the UK for a year, will struggle to find accommodation. Due to language barriers which will prevent them from negotiating their rental agreements and the lack of necessary documentation, many fear that these families will fall through the system.

“Afghan families couldn’t have imagined that one year after arriving they’d still be warehoused in unsuitable accommodation, without space, privacy and stability. There is also a serious risk of homelessness for these families if suitable accommodation is not offered under the current Home Office plans,” said Eva Tabbasam, the director of Gender Action for Peace and Security.

“The government has had a year to sort things out – instead, it’s getting worse. If suitable accommodation was readily available for the 9,500 people still in hotels, families would already have been moved into it. We don’t yet know what kind of move on accommodation families will be offered,” she added.

The government’s plans to rehouse Afghan refugees include sending them to different parts of the country. However, as the majority are based in London and with children enrolled into school and family members at work, the scheme may prove difficult, Anadolu reported. .

Furthermore, councils have voiced concern over the lack of housing options for Afghan families with Claire Holland, London Councils’ executive member for communities, saying “boroughs are very concerned by the lack of alternative housing options for these families – a particular challenge in the capital due to the chronic shortage of affordable housing here.”

UK council housing lists are notoriously long with many having to wait up to a year to find a house fit for a large family. Additionally, although Afghan families have the right to rent, many landlords are reluctant to sign agreements with them due to a lack of necessary and sufficient documentation.

The plan to rehouse Afghan refugees in private accommodation comes on the one-year anniversary of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) rule.

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