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UK PM confirms most British troops have left Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: July 8, 2021)

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed Thursday that most British troops have left Afghanistan, almost 20 years after the UK and other Western countries sent troops into the country to engage in what they described as a “war on terror.”

Addressing Parliament, Johnson said the threat posed by al-Qaeda to but he declined to answer questions on whether the hasty military exodus by the country and its NATO allies risks undoing the work of nearly two decades, the Associated Press reported. 

Johnson also declined to give details about the troop withdrawal, citing security reasons. But he said that “all British troops assigned to NATO’s mission in Afghanistan are now returning home,” adding that “most of our personnel have already left.”

“We must be realistic about our ability alone to influence the course of events. It will take combined efforts of many nations, including Afghanistan’s neighbors, to help the Afghan people to build their future,” Johnson said. 

“But the threat that brought us to Afghanistan in the first place has been greatly diminished by the valor and by the sacrifice of the armed forces of Britain and many other countries.”

He stressed that Britain remains committed to helping achieve a peace settlement in Afghanistan through diplomacy, AP reported.

“We are not walking away. We are keeping our embassy in Kabul, and we will continue to work with our friends and allies, particularly our friends in Pakistan, to work towards a settlement,” Johnson said.

The US military announced Tuesday that 90% of American troops and equipment had already left the country, with the drawdown set to finish by late August. 

Last week, US officials vacated the country’s biggest airfield, Bagram Air Base and most European troops have also quietly pulled out in recent weeks.

 

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Two IEA forces and 4 Daesh fighters killed in Kabul clash 

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(Last Updated On: August 4, 2022)

Four Daesh militants were killed and a fifth was arrested in an operation in Kabul on Wednesday. 

According to Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), forces had conducted a raid on an “important nest of the enemy” in Karte-e-Sakhi area in PD3. 

The operation was launched at about 11.30am but a shootout between IEA and Daesh militants broke out, which lasted several hours. The situation was eventually brought under control and a cache of weapons and ammunition was recovered. 

Mujahid said in a series of tweets that the Daesh cell had been planning to attack Shiites in the Kart-e-Sakhi area during the upcoming Muharram. 

Meanwhile, the ministry of interior said in a statement that two security personnel, including a policewoman, were killed in the standoff and four IEA soldiers were wounded. 

 

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Iranian energy ministry delegation to visit Kabul over water rights

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(Last Updated On: July 29, 2022)

Iran is reportedly sending a delegation from the ministry of energy affairs to Afghanistan to discuss their water share rights regarding the Helmand River.

According to Iran’s IRNA news agency, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian told Afghanistan’s acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi in a phone conversation that he is dispatching the delegation in the near future in order to resolve issues around water.

IRNA reported that Amirabdollahian raised the issue of recent heavy rainfall in Afghanistan and expressed hope that the “artificially created obstacles” in the way of the flow of water towards Iran will be eliminated and Iran will receive its water share from the Helmand River.

Amirabdollahian also reportedly told Muttaqi that receiving their share of water will be an important index for Kabul in terms of showing how committed the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) is about meeting “their international commitments”, IRNA reported.

Amirabdollahian said the people of Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan and their representatives in Parliament are seriously demanding their share of water and that unless the issue is resolved quickly, “it will affect the other issues in bilateral cooperation negatively”, IRNA reported.

According to IRNA, Muttaqi in turn welcomed the delegation’s upcoming visit and said Afghanistan is committed to giving Iran their share of water from the Helmand River, which flows into the country.

Amirabdollahian said that a joint team of technicians will survey the river’s path and ensure both countries benefit from the water.

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China adds science lab to its orbiting space station

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(Last Updated On: July 25, 2022)

China added a laboratory to its permanent space station Monday as it moves toward completing the structure in coming months.

The Wentian lab module was launched from the Wenchang space base on the tropical island province of Hainan on Sunday with a large crowd of amateur photographers and space enthusiasts watching, AP reported.

After 13 hours of flight, it successfully docked with the Tiangong station’s main Tianhe living module early Monday according to the China Manned Space Agency.

The Wentian is designed for science and biology experiments, and 23-ton lab module is heavier than any other single-module spacecraft currently in space, according to the state-owned Global Times.

It will be followed by a second lab module, the Mengtian, due to be launched in October.

Three astronauts are currently living in the core module on a six-month mission and oversaw the Wentian’s arrival.

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