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UNAMA, US and OIC among many to condemn Kabul mosque explosion

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(Last Updated On: April 30, 2022)

The United Nations in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has condemned Friday’s deadly attack on a mosque in Kabul, which resulted in the death of at least 10 people.

UNAMA said in a statement that the attack on the Khalifa Sahib Mosque “is the latest in a series of indiscriminate assaults on civilian targets in the capital and provinces.”

According to UNAMA, two UN staff members and their families were also in the mosque at the time of the explosion.

“Today’s attack, carried out on the last Friday of the Holy month of Ramadan and on the eve of the Eid-ul-Fitr, totally disregards human lives and religious sanctity.

“No words are strong enough to condemn this despicable act, targeting a place of worship, as Muslims across Afghanistan prepare to celebrate the Eid,” said Mette Knudsen, the UN Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan.

“Recent attacks against civilians, targeting ethnic and religious minorities, represent a disturbing trend in Afghanistan. These violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws must end immediately,” he said.

Friday’s explosion follows a spate of attacks in recent weeks in mosques and schools in the major cities of Kabul, Kunduz and Mazar-e-Sharif.

Friday’s attack has however sparked widespread condemnation from a number of foreign countries and international communities.

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West tweeted early Saturday: “I condemn the senseless and terrible attacks against innocent Afghans this past week, including at Khalifa Sahib mosque. These attacks must end. Perpetrators must be brought to justice.”

The European Union, was among those that condemned the incident and said: “Another explosion shook Kabul, targeting worshippers during their Friday prayers and taking the lives of many. It comes in a series of heinous and coward attacks on civilians gathering in a market, school or a mosque in this holy month of Ramadan.

“The European Union mourns with the families of the victims and wishes those injured a full and speedy recovery. Terror has no place in any religion or faith,” read their statement.

The EU also called on the Afghan authorities to ensure safety and security of all Afghan citizens and to hold those responsible to account.

“It is imperative to implement effective counter-terrorism policies and measures that eradicate the threat of terrorism both inside and from Afghanistan’s territory,” their statement read.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Mohammad Shehbaz Sharif has also strongly condemned Friday’s blast in Kabul and “expressed his deep sense of grief and sorrow at the loss of precious lives and conveyed his condolences and sympathies to the bereaved families”.

Pakistan’s ministry of foreign affairs also issued a statement and said: “We express support and solidarity to the Afghan brethren in effectively countering the challenge of terrorism.”

The General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meanwhile called for a “more resolute stand by the de facto authorities against whoever sponsors or orchestrates” the attacks.

The OIC said in a series of tweets that these repeated and indiscriminate attacks “reflect the unabated volatility of the security situation in Afghanistan”. The organization also called for a more resolute stand by the de facto authorities against whoever sponsors or orchestrates them.

Friday’s explosion was the latest in a string of attacks targeting civilians. The blast ripped through a mosque in Kabul city, leaving dozens dead and wounded. On Thursday, two more explosions were reported in Mazar-e-Sharif in Balkh province also leaving dozens dead and wounded.

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Biden extends US national emergency over humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: February 5, 2023)

US President Joe Biden has extended for one more year the national emergency declared in his executive order with respect to the widespread humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and the “potential for deepening economic collapse” in the country.

On February 11, 2022, Biden by an executive order declared a national emergency to deal with the “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States” constituted by the widespread humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and the potential for a deepening economic collapse in the country, the White House said.

“The widespread humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan — including the urgent needs of the people of Afghanistan for food security, livelihoods support, water, sanitation, health, hygiene, shelter and settlement assistance, and COVID-19-related assistance, among other basic human needs — and the potential for a deepening economic collapse in Afghanistan continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” White House said in a notice released on February 3.

“In addition, the preservation of certain property of Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB) held in the United States by United States financial institutions is of the utmost importance to addressing this national emergency and the welfare of the people of Afghanistan,” the notice said.

“Various parties, including representatives of victims of terrorism, have asserted legal claims against certain property of DAB or indicated in public court filings an intent to make such claims. This property is blocked under Executive Order 14064.”

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Kandahar-Dubai flights resume

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(Last Updated On: February 5, 2023)

Local officials in Kandahar province say flights between Kandahar and Dubai have resumed for the first time since the IEA took control of Afghanistan in August 2021.

The head of Ahmad Shah Baba International Airport in Kandahar has said that the flights have been resumed by Kam Air, the largest private airline in Afghanistan.

Kam Air officials meanwhile said that the west and south zones have more traders and industrialists; therefore, they have resumed the flights.

It is said that round-trip flights will also soon start between Kandahar and New Delhi and Kandahar and China.

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At least 8,000 Afghan refugees return from Iran in past week

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(Last Updated On: February 5, 2023)

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) authorities at the Refugee and Repatriation Department of Nimruz province announced that 7,612 Afghan refugees have returned to the country from Iran over the past week.

Sediqullah Nasrat, the director of the department said on Saturday that 519 refugees who were facing serious financial problems, received cash aid from the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Nasrat added that IOM – the United Nations agency for migration – distributed food and other necessary items to the remaining families.

He said the 7,612 Afghan migrants returned to the country from Iran through the Abrishum border crossing.

This comes as the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation on Saturday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a private organization called ‘Osta’ to create employment opportunities for more than a thousand needy families.

Although many immigrants are forcibly returned to the country, the deterioration of the economic situation in Iran has also caused migrants to return to the country.

A number of immigration experts say that the new Afghan government should try to solve the problems of Afghan immigrants in host countries through diplomatic means, especially on the issue of accommodation, especially as many migrants do not have legal documents.

Although Iran and Pakistan have been hosting millions of Afghan refugees for years, recent developments in the country have increased the number of these migrants. Now, the Islamic Emirate says that they are trying to gradually provide job opportunities to the returning migrants.

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