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Top Al-Qaeda leader killed in Farah: NDS

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(Last Updated On: November 10, 2020)

Mohammad Hanif Alias Abdullah leader of Al-Qaeda for the Indian Sub-continent was killed by the National Directorate of Security (NDS) Special Forces in an operation in the Bakwa district of Farah province, said Tuesday in a statement.

According to the statement, Hanif, a Pakistani national and a very close aide to Asim Omer, was given shelter and protection by the Taliban.

He also was deputy so-called Amir for AQIS for a period, the statement noted.

“This person had a membership of the Taliban group and after 2010 he also became a member of the al-Qaeda network. In the same year, he entered Helmand with the direct cooperation of the Taliban, and then with the help of the Taliban he was moved to Farah province,” NDS statement said.

The statement further indicated that Hanif also had close ties with the Taliban and assisted and trained the Taliban members in explosives, car bombs, and improvised explosive devices.

The Taliban, however, did not comment yet.

The latest development comes as last month, the NDS forces had killed an al-Qaeda key member for the Indian sub-continent, Abu Muhsen al-Masri in an operation in Ghazni province.

Al-Masri, an Egyptian national was believed to be the “second-in-command” in al-Qaeda and had been on the US’s Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Most Wanted Terrorist list.

Meanwhile, a UN official previously had claimed that despite the Taliban’s pledge in February to cut ties with al-Qaeda, the group is still “heavily embedded” within the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Speaking to the BBC, Edmund Fitton-Brown, co-ordinator of the UN’s Islamic State, al-Qaeda and Taliban Monitoring Team, said there has been regular communication between the two groups despite the US-Taliban agreement signed in Doha in February.

“The Taliban were talking regularly and at a high level with al-Qaeda and reassuring them that they would honor their historic ties,” Fitton-Brown said.

According to him, the relationship between al-Qaeda and the Taliban was “not substantively” changed by the deal struck with the US.

“Al-Qaeda is heavily embedded with the Taliban and they do a good deal of military action and training activities with the Taliban, and that has not changed,” he said.

BBC reported that although al-Qaeda’s strength and ability to strike the West has significantly diminished over the past decade, its leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is believed to still be based in Afghanistan along with a number of other senior figures in the group.

But, Fitton-Brown said despite its lower profile, al-Qaeda remained “resilient” and “dangerous”.

Earlier to that UN in a report states that the Taliban has failed to fulfill one of the core parts of the US-Taliban agreement, namely that it would break ties with al-Qaeda. The agreement was signed in February in Doha, Qatar, after months of negotiations.

Al-Qaeda has 400 to 600 operatives active in 12 Afghan provinces and is running training camps in the east of the country, according to the report.
The Afghan government has also previously spoken of the Taliban’s close ties to ISIS and other terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda.

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Stanikzai meets with Azerbaijan’s ambassador to Kabul

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(Last Updated On: February 25, 2024)

Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, the political deputy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, met Sunday with Ilham Mohammadov, Azerbaijan’s ambassador to Afghanistan and said the Islamic Emirate wants good relations with the world, foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi said in a statement.

Balkhi quoted the ambassador of Azerbaijan as saying he appreciates the efforts of the Islamic Emirate in the field of security, economic development, and the fight against drugs and added that Azerbaijan is ready to cooperate in the cultural, economic and commercial sectors with Afghanistan.

Stanikzai said in this meeting that the IEA, having a balanced and economic-based foreign policy, wants good relations with all countries and is also trying to improve the country’s economic situation.

This comes after Mohammadov submitted his ambassadorial credentials to acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi late last month.

According to Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry’s website, their parliament approved the opening of their embassy on December 30, 2020.

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Over 92,000 metric tons of goods transported via rail in past week: ARA

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(Last Updated On: February 25, 2024)

Afghanistan Railway Authority (ARA) announced in a statement on Sunday that 92,233 metric tons of goods was transported via railway lines in the country in the past week.

ARA said 75,698 tons was transported through Hairatan port, 5,054 tons via Aqina port, and 11,481 tons through Turghandi. This included oil and other goods and raw materials – that were imported and exported.

Of this, 2,247 tons of commercial goods were exported, most of which were oranges, potatoes, dried fruits and pomegranate juice, the statement read.

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Stanikzai laments poor reading habits among Afghans

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(Last Updated On: February 25, 2024)

Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, the political deputy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on Sunday that the development of a country depends on reading, but reading habits in Afghanistan are very low.

Stanikzai made the remarks at a ceremony in Kabul to unveil books printed during the past 11 months.

“In Afghanistan, compared to other countries, people read very little. Maybe some people believe that there were many problems here, there was a war, the economy was weak and people are looking for bread and don’t have time to read, but these problems exist in other countries as well. If there is no war in other countries, there is poverty,” Stanikzai said.

He stated now that security is ensured in the country and there is no feudalism, youths should read under the shadow of the Islamic system, because without reading, success cannot be achieved.

“If youths become interested in reading and books, Allah willing, society will get rid of problems very soon. We Afghans have no equal on the battlefield. We have a lot of progress in this regard, and no one else has this honor. We should try to tell the world that with the takeover of the Islamic Emirate, there is peace and security in Afghanistan. There is no more war; there is no more feudalism; there is no more looting. There is an Islamic and Sharia system,” Stanikzai said.

He has also said that currently many books are imported from other countries, adding that scientific and research institutions and authors of the country should try to write books themselves.

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