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Telecom towers go up in remote areas of Paktia: IEA

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(Last Updated On: April 25, 2023)

Paktia Telecommunications Department officials say that they have started the process of setting up new telecommunication towers in remote areas of the eastern province.

Speaking during the inauguration of the project, which is being rolled out by Afghan Wireless Communication Company (AWCC) in Zurmat district, officials said additional land in other areas has been earmarked for the new towers.

“We have included in our plan all areas of Paktia districts where there are no telecommunications services, such as Zurmat and other districts,” Nasratullah Hijrat, director of telecommunications and IT in Paktia, said.

Salam Sharifi, head of AWCC in the southeast zone, meanwhile said: “Today, we inaugurated the AWCC site in Sahak area of Zurmat district. With this, the people of Sahak will benefit from better quality telephone services and fast internet services.”

Hazrat Mohammad Watanpal, the provincial director of the Afghanistan Telecom Regulatory Authority (ATRA), said: “We will make more efforts. ATRA also plans to cover the under-serviced areas.”

Residents of Paktia province have meanwhile called on the private and state-run telecommunication sector to expand their services across the district, given its size.

“Zurmat has been facing telecommunication problems for 20 years. Many thanks to AWCC for solving our problems,” Abdul Hamid Faizan, a resident of Paktia’s Zurmat district, said.

According to local officials, about 10 new telecommunication sites have been activated in Paktia since the takeover of the country by the Islamic Emirate.

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US, UAE diplomats meet to discuss Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: April 13, 2024)

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West met with UAE’s deputy envoy for the United Nations, Mohammad Abu Shahab, discussing the latest developments in Afghanistan, it was announced on Friday.

The sides also discussed empowering Afghan women and girls, and the full implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2721, co-penned by the UAE and Japan, UAE Mission to the UN said in a post on X.

The 2721 UNSC resolution adopted in December last year, calls for the appointment of a UN special envoy for Afghanistan, a suggestion objected by the Islamic Emirate.

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Top former US general claims Daesh-Khorasan is ‘on the upswing’

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(Last Updated On: April 13, 2024)

Retired General Joseph Votel, former chief of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), has claimed that Daesh-Khorasan is on the upswing, and that the US doesn’t have much on the ground to help reduce the risk.

“ISIS-K is on the upswing right now,” Votel said, Business Insider reported. “And we don’t have much on the ground to help reduce that risk that this organization poses.”

Before withdrawal from Afghanistan, Washington had significant intelligence capabilities on the ground and the ability to conduct kinetic strikes against the group. But this “mowing-the-grass” approach to counterterrorism, Votel said, has since paved way for a stronger and more resilient Daesh-K that’s focused on projecting its influence elsewhere.

The US still has the ability to gather meaningful intelligence in the region, although Votel said these capabilities are likely diminished from what they previously were. But it’s very important, he stressed, that the US continues to dedicate resources toward the threat and make it a priority.

One way for the US to do this is to work with regional partners around Afghanistan, such as Pakistan or states in Central Asia, to increase collaboration and the exchange of information with regard to violent extremism, Votel said. Another method would be for lawmakers to reauthorize a powerful surveillance tool known as Section 702, which is set to expire later this month.

“It doesn’t take very long for these organizations to rise up and become more capable,” retired Gen. Joseph Votel, who oversaw military operations in the Middle East in the 2010s, said.

This comes as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) says that Daesh has been suppressed and does not have the ability to launch attacks from Afghanistan against any country.

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Lightning strikes in Helmand kill one, injure three

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(Last Updated On: April 13, 2024)

One person has died and three others have been injured by lightning strikes in southern Helmand province, officials said.

Abdul Bari Rashid, director of information and culture in Helmand, told Ariana News that lightning occurred in the provincial capital Lashkargah, and Gereshk and Babaji districts.

According to him, one person died in the lightning and three others including a woman and two children were injured.

Meanwhile, floods triggered by heavy rains have caused financial losses in Sangin district of Helmand.

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