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UNAMA condemns attacks against civilians engaged in peace efforts 

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(Last Updated On: August 20, 2020)

United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on Thursday condemned this week’s attacks in Kabul against civilians – especially those involved in peace efforts – and said those behind the incidents must be prosecuted. 

“UNAMA condemns this week’s violence in Kabul, particularly that targeting civilians engaged in peace efforts. The killing of peace activist Abdulbaqi Amin and attack against peace negotiator Fawzia Koofi are deplorable.” the mission said on Twitter. 

This comes after two IED explosions on Wednesday claimed the lives of two civilians, including Abdulbaqi Amin, who was the head of the science council at the Ministry of Education. 

On Tuesday, three civilians were killed in a rocket attack on Kabul and last week, prominent peace negotiator and political activist Fawzia Koofi was shot at. 

She was shot in the hand during the attempted assassination.

The increase in IED explosions in Kabul has raised concerns especially as serious efforts are underway to start intra-Afghan peace talks. 

However, talks that were supposed to have started last week have been delayed due to the prisoner release issue. 

On Wednesday, government said the Taliban prisoner release process has been suspended as the Taliban had not freed all Afghans they are holding captive. 

This came after the United States, France and Australia opposed the release of some of the remaining 320 prisoners who were behind the attacks and death of their nationals. 

In line with this, President Ashraf Ghani has stalled the release process despite having signed a decree last week. 

In an interview with the UK’s Times Radio this week, Ghani said that a number of the controversial prisoners were also major drug kingpins and that should they be released back into society the UK and Europe could expect a flood of drugs to hit their shores. 

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Elon Musk begins Twitter poll on reinstating Trump’s account

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(Last Updated On: November 19, 2022)

Twitter owner Elon Musk launched a poll Friday on the social media platform asking if former US President Donald Trump should be allowed back on the platform.

“Reinstate former President Trump,” Musk wrote in a post which garnered more than 4.4 million impressions at the time of publication, Anadolu Agency reported.

More than 55% of users voted “yes,” while 44% said “no.”

Hours earlier, the American billionaire implied that he was mulling whether to reinstate Trump’s Twitter account.

“Trump decision has not yet been made,” tweeted Musk, as he announced three high-profile reinstatements of accounts that were banned by the social media giant.

“Kathie Griffin, Jorden Peterson & Babylon Bee have been reinstated,” said Musk.

Trump had about 88.8 million followers when Twitter permanently suspended the former US president’s account in January 2021, citing his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol and the potential for more violence.

Musk had forecast a Trump return in May when he called the expulsion “morally wrong and flat-out stupid.”

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IEA says it has eradicated war and corruption in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: November 17, 2022)

The Prime Minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, said at a meeting on Wednesday with officials from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that the Islamic Emirate has been able to eliminate war and administrative corruption in the country and pave the ground for progress and development.

He said that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation has created an aid fund for Afghanistan and they will help Afghanistan in health, education, and other fields in addition to humanitarian aid.

An OIC official meanwhile said it will stand by Afghanistan and we will continue its cooperation with Afghanistan in the areas of prosperity, stability, and development.

The Prime Minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Mullah Muhammad Hassan Akhund, meanwhile welcomed the delegation of the OIC, and said, “You will see the real facts and the efforts of the Islamic Emirate in various sectors.”

He said that the Islamic Emirate has been able to eliminate war, insecurity, murder, destruction, and corruption in the country.

In conclusion, the IEA will not allow anyone to use Afghanistan soil against other countries, he said. 

 

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Explosion in busy Istanbul street leaves at least 4 dead

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(Last Updated On: November 13, 2022)

An explosion on Istanbul’s popular pedestrian Istiklal Avenue on Sunday afternoon has left at least four people dead and a number of people injured, a senior official told Associated Press.

Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya tweeted that the explosion occurred at about 4:20 p.m. Istanbul time and that there were deaths and injuries, but he did not say how many. The cause of the explosion was not clear.

Al Jazeera also reported at least four people were killed and 38 others injured.

However, according to the Associated Press, Turkey’s media watchdog imposed a temporary media ban on reporting of the explosion, which means broadcasters cannot show videos of the moment of the blast or its aftermath. 

The Supreme Board of Radio and Television has imposed similar bans in the past, following attacks, accidents and some political issues.

Footage on social media showed ambulances, fire trucks and police at the scene. Social media users said shops were shuttered and the avenue closed down.

Broadcaster CNN Turk meanwhile reported 11 people were injured. 

The avenue is a crowded thoroughfare popular with tourists and locals, lined by shops and restaurants.

Turkey was hit by a string of deadly bombings between 2015 and 2017 by ISIS (Daesh) and outlawed Kurdish groups.

 

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