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Tehran summons Afghan envoy over incidents at diplomatic missions

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(Last Updated On: April 12, 2022)

Iran on Tuesday summoned Afghanistan’s chargé d’affaires in Tehran to protest attacks on Iranian diplomatic missions in Kabul and Herat.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry said consular services at diplomatic missions in Afghanistan would cease their operations until full security is assured, Anadolu Agency reported.

The ministry urged Afghan authorities to take action against those who attacked its diplomatic missions in Kabul and the western city of Herat.

On Monday, dozens of people gathered outside the Iranian Embassy in Kabul, hurling stones and smashing security cameras, according to local reports.

The Iranian Consulate in Herat was also targeted on Monday by angry protesters, apparently not happy with treatment being meted out to Afghan refugees in Iran.

As per reports, the angry mob tried to barge inside the consulate building but the attempt was thwarted by guards and Afghan security forces, who opened fire in the air.

On Monday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh called on the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) authorities to ensure the security of Iran’s missions in the country.

“The full security of embassies and diplomatic missions of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Herat and other cities of Afghanistan must be observed and the necessary guarantees for the safe operation of these missions are necessary,” he told reporters in Tehran.

Last week, three Iranian clerics were stabbed by a 21-year-old man at the popular Rezavi shrine complex in Iran’s northeastern city of Mashhad. One of them died on the spot and another succumbed to his injuries later at a hospital.

While authorities in Mashhad did not reveal the identity of the assailant, local media said he was an Afghan national who had illegally come to Iran last year, Anadolu reported.

The videos of the incident went viral on social media, which were accompanied by videos showing the ill-treatment of Afghan refugees in Iran.

Referring to the stabbing incident, Khatibzdeh said videos were being circulated on social media to stoke tensions between the Iranian and Afghan peoples.

Iran plays host to some 4 million documented and undocumented Afghan refugees, 1 million of whom fled their native country after the IEA’s sweeping takeover last August.

Iranian Ambassador in Kabul, Bahador Aminian, has held a series of meetings with senior Afghan officials in recent months, including Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, to discuss the issue of refugees.

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Earthquake victims in Gayan district still in need of food and shelter

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(Last Updated On: June 25, 2022)

Hundreds of survivors of this week’s earthquake, who lost family members and their homes, are still in desperate need of help.

Sayed Bakhta, one of the survivors said that he has lost four family members and two others are hospitalized, adding that survivors are dealing with a lack of food and no shelter.

“We have no shelter here now, we don’t have food, all the victims are sitting outside without having shelter,” he said.

A number of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) officials who have visited Gayan district of Paktika say that almost 90 percent of residential areas have been destroyed.

“Almost 90 percent of residences are destroyed; only a few them are suitable for living, most of them are uninhabitable,” said Qalandar Ebad, acting minister of public health.

In the meantime, rugged roads have hampered relief efforts as Gayan victims grapple with a humanitarian crisis, but military helicopter try to deliver aid to the victims.

“According to the order of the Prime Minister, a meeting was held and according to that meeting, the ministries and donor organizations were instructed to come to the earthquake site as soon as possible and use all their facilities to save the people,” said Sharafuddin Muslim, deputy Minister of State for Disaster Management.

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121 children among those killed in Afghanistan earthquake: UNICEF

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(Last Updated On: June 25, 2022)

The United Nations children’s agency said on Friday 121 of those who were killed in the 6.1-magnitude earthquake in Afghanistan this week were children.

Mohamed Ayoya, UNICEF Representative to Afghanistan, said as of late Thursday night, at least 1,036 people were reported killed and more than 1,643 reported injured.

The toll included 121 deaths and 67 injuries among the children, according to the official.

He said that Bermal district in Paktika province has the highest number of casualties and that several thousand homes were destroyed or damaged.

“Children and adolescents are extremely vulnerable and at high-risk of family separation, emotional and psychological distress, abuse and exploitation, and other forms of violence,” Ayoya said.

“UNICEF, in coordination with UN agencies, partners, and the de facto authorities (led by the Ministry of Defence) is rapidly preparing a multi-sectoral response covering health, WASH, child protection, nutrition, education, social mobilization, and including a cash component,” Ayoya said.
“UNICEF will be conducting a rapid market assessment in the affected areas in the upcoming days. The assessment will inform the feasibility and appropriateness of cash as a response to support early recovery. UNICEF has already trained partners for beneficiary registration on the ground.”

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Pakistan dispatches second consignment of earthquake relief

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(Last Updated On: June 25, 2022)

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday dispatched eight trucks loaded with relief goods for earthquake victims in Afghanistan.

According to a statement issued by the Pakistan government, the consignment, arranged by the National Disaster Management Authority, has been handed over to Afghan authorities.

The consignment consists of family tents, tarpaulins, blankets and emergency medicines.

“Pakistan is committed to continue supply of relief goods to Afghan brethren,” the statement read.

This comes after Pakistan sent in earthquake aid on Wednesday, just hours after the 6.1 magnitude earthquake hit Afghanistan’s eastern provinces, killing over 1,000 people and destroying thousands of houses.

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