#AceNewsReport – Sept.27: Wazir Ahmad Seddiqi, a local shopkeeper, told the Associated Press news agency that four bodies were brought to the square, one was hung there and the three other bodies were moved to other squares in the city to be displayed.
#AceDailyNews says according to BBC News the Taliban reportedly captured ‘four alleged kidnappers’ and hung their bodies as warning in city of Herat The men were killed in a gun battle after allegedly seizing a businessman and his son, a local official said but this is unconfirmed as its the report …
The BBC has not independently confirmed the circumstances under which the men were killed.
The gruesome display came a day after a notorious Taliban official warned that extreme punishments such as executions and amputations would resume if people did not obey the their laws
Local residents said a body was hung from a crane in the city centre.
The deputy governor of Herat, Maulwai Shair, said displaying the bodies was done to deter further abductions. He said the men were killed in a gun battle after the Taliban learnt that they had kidnapped a businessman and his son – who were both freed.
However, graphic images shared on social media appeared to show bloody bodies on the back of a pick-up truck with a crane hoisting one man up.
Another video showed a man suspended from a crane with a sign on his chest reading: “Abductors will be punished like this.”
Since taking power in Afghanistan on 15 August, the Taliban have been promising a milder form of rule than in their previous tenure.
But there have already been numerous reports of human rights abuses carried out across the country.
The Taliban’s notorious former head of religious police Mullah Nooruddin Turabi – now in charge of prisons – said on Thursday that extreme punishments such as executions and amputations would resume in Afghanistan as they were “necessary for security”.
In an interview with AP, he said these punishments may not be meted out in public, as they were under previous Taliban rule in the 1990s. Public executions were frequently held in Kabul’s sports stadium or on the vast grounds of the Eid Gah mosque during the group’s five year rule.
But he dismissed outrage over their past public executions: “No-one will tell us what our laws should be.”
Turabi – who is on a UN sanctions list for his past actions – added that “everyone criticised us for the punishments in the stadium, but we have never said anything about their laws and punishments”.
In August, Amnesty International said that Taliban fighters were behind the massacre of nine members of the persecuted Hazara minority.
Amnesty’s Secretary-General Agnès Callamard said at the time that the “cold-blooded brutality” of the killings was “a reminder of the Taliban’s past record, and a horrifying indicator of what Taliban rule may bring”.
#AceNewsReport – Aug.13: The #Taliban captures Kandahar and scores of American weapons and military equipment from Afghan security forces as the terrorist group accelerates its takeover following the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the country…
#AceDailyNews says #Taliban capture Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second largest city in what is a crushing blow for the government and a major win for the militants as the southern city was once their stronghold, and is strategically important as a trade hub.
“We have no money to buy bread, or get some medicine for my child,” a 35-year-old street vendor who fled northern Kunduz province after the Taliban set fire to his home told the BBC.
More than 1,000 civilians have been killed in Afghanistan in the past month, according to the UN.
There are increasing concerns that the militants will continue their rapid offensive toward Kabul.
People are in disbelief over their rapid gains, the BBC Yogita Limaye in Kabul reports, with the silence from the country’s top leadership leading to rumours and speculation about what could lie ahead for the capital.
The insurgent advance comes as US and other foreign troops withdraw after 20 years of military operations.
The US is to send nearly 3,000 troops to Kabul airport to evacuate a “significant” number of embassy staff on special flights. The UK is deploying 600 troops to support British nationals leaving the country. Staff at the British embassy have been reduced to a core team.
Kandahar is the Taliban’s birthplace, and so taking control of the city of 600,000 people is a significant prize for the militants.
They had occupied the city’s outskirts for a number of weeks before launching their attack on the centre.
On Wednesday, the Taliban breached Kandahar’s central prison, and on Thursday, images on social media reportedly showed insurgents in the city centre.
A resident told the AFP news agency that government forces appeared to have withdrawn en masse to a military facility outside Kandahar.
Kandahar is considered strategically important because of its international airport, its agricultural and industrial output and its position as one of the country’s main trading hubs.
#Taliban seizes US weapons and military equipment as takeover accelerates and capitals fall one by one to being overrun as forces are pushed back to Kabul where troops from U.S and U.K. are being flown into airlift and support fleeing nationals …..by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, August 12, 2021:
Taliban terrorists are now in possession of U.S.-made military vehicles, anti-aircraft guns, armored tanks, and artillery. The munitions were provided to Afghan security forces to secure the country as the United States ends its two-decade war there. The Taliban have overwhelmed Afghan forces, taking over key Afghan provinces and using U.S. weapons to power the offensive.
“These captured systems will increase the mobility and lethality of the Taliban, making them a more formidable adversary,” said Bradley Bowman, senior director of the Center on Military and Political Power at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “We have already seen the Taliban using captured humvees to patrol Kunduz and Sar-e Pol.”
With the situation in Afghanistan deteriorating, the United States announced that it is sending 3,000 troops back into the country to help evacuate the vulnerable American embassy in Kabul. President Joe Biden left for vacation shortly after the announcement. Vice President Kamala Harris dodged questions about the situation on Thursday afternoon, when a reporter asked if “Afghanistan is lost to the Taliban.” Harris would not answer, but said she would be briefed on the matter.
Military experts fear Afghanistan will once again become a breeding ground for terrorists and militant groups like al Qaeda.
Annie Aleman, a GOP strategist with the American Security Project, predicted on Thursday that Kabul could soon fall to the Taliban.
“It is very reasonable to expect that Kabul will fall by the 20th anniversary of 9/11 this year,” Aleman said….
Afghanistan: Journalists get threats in Afghanistan, ‘stop working in Taliban-controlled areas,’” by Nikesh Mandal, News Track Live, August 10, 2021:
Journalists in Afghanistan are suffering from serious threats in conflict areas and have quit working in the Taliban-controlled regions, a country-based media advocacy group said on Tuesday.
The group, Nai-Supporting Open Media in Afghanistan, said some journalists have fled areas recently seized by the Taliban. “Some of our journalists in Taliban-controlled areas escaped,” said Sediqullah Tawhidi, head of Afghan Journalist Safety Committee (AJSC). Afghan journalists asked the Taliban to ensure the safety of journalists, and freedom of speech.
“In the areas where fighting is ongoing, the government has looked at a place for journalists, and will transfer them if the situation gets worse,” a local Afghani quoted Mujib Khalwatgar, head of Nai. The Taliban’s offensive has been targeting journalists and innocent civilians. On Sunday, editor-in-chief of Afghanistan’s Paktia Ghag radio station, Toofan Omari was killed in the Deh Sabz district of Kabul. While Niamatullah Hemat, editor-in-chief of the local Boost radio station and reporter of Gharghakht TV channel based in Khost province, was taken hostage by the Taliban in Nawa district of Helmand province….
Local officials said that the clashes intensified in villages in the western parts of Herat city.
Abdul Rahman Rahman, senior deputy of the Interior Ministry, also visited Herat city on Sunday and said that a large-scale operation will be launched against the Taliban in Herat.
“We have come with the security forces from Kabul and these forces have joined Herat forces. We will act as soon as possible to defend the Herat people,” he said.
The clashes have been ongoing in the western parts of Herat city and Guzara and Karokh districts over the past four days.
At least 20 people were killed, including 16 security force members, and 90 people were wounded in the past four days of fighting in Herat, according to data from Herat’s regional hospital.
Local officials said that “the Taliban has suffered heavy casualties during the clashes.”
Reporters for Pajhwok news agency and Salam Watandar Radio were briefly taken captive by the Taliban on the battlefield but none were injured, according to the reporters.
“We had a 10-meter distance from the security forces,” said Storai Karimi, a Pajhwok reporter, “we were surrounded by the Taliban.”
Shekib Shams, reporter of Salam Watandar also said: “It was terrible because a few bullets hit our car. When I stopped the car, I saw that four Taliban had surrounded us and told us to take the car into the road.”
The reporters said that they were freed after an hour.
Security sources said the Taliban advanced this morning in Herat city, adding that “the Taliban launched large attacks on several villages in the west of Herat city and clashes are still ongoing.”
“There are clashes in Pul-e-Malan on the battlefield and the Taliban were prevented from advancing. Sometimes troops move forward and then retreat but it does not mean that the lines were broken,” said Abdul Saboor Qane, provincial governor.
Colonel Mohammad Nasir Alizai, commander of a commando unit from Zafar 207 Military Corps, said: “The Taliban’s war is a psychological war, and it wants to cause panic among the people. I urge the people of Herat not to lose their spirit.”
This comes a day after Mohammad Ismail Khan, former mujahedeen leader and a senior member of Jamiat-e-Islami who is leading the fight against the Taliban in Herat along with scores of public resistance forces, criticized the Ministry of Defense for delays in sending reinforcements to Herat.
Clashes in the city of Herat began their fourth day on Sunday. Clashes are underway in the southern part of Herat near Malan Bridge, which was taken over by the Taliban on Saturday.
Defense Ministry spokesman Fawad Aman said hundreds of reinforcements arrived in the city on Sunday morning.
Hundreds of families have been displaced from their homes in the southern parts of Herat city due to the ongoing clashes, local officials said.
Taliban attacks on the city of Herat were criticized on Saturday by some lawmakers and analysts who say they are a clear violation of the group’s commitments to the Doha agreement.
The Taliban said that the group has made no commitment to not attack major cities.
The insurgents overran Kunduz twice in 2015 and 2016, and briefly held control of Ghazni city after setting ablaze key government buildings and destroying telecommunication towers.
In recent weeks the Afghan government’s air force, backed by the US military, has provided Kabul with its biggest battlefield advantage over the Taliban and has so far largely kept the insurgents from overrunning urban areas.
“The US military has been engaged in a limited way, but in a significant one that has impact in meeting our obligations to defend Afghan forces when they are under attack,” top US envoy in Kabul Ross Wilson told reporters this week.
#AceNewsServices – AFGHANISTAN – May 28 – Taliban insurgents on Wednesday denounced US plans to keep troops in Afghanistan until the end of 2016, threatening to wage war against the “occupation” until the very last foreign soldier pulls out.
Outlining the US strategy to end America’s longest war, 15 years after the September 11 attacks, President Barack Obama confirmed Tuesday that the 32,000-strong US deployment in Afghanistan would be scaled back to around 9,800 by the start of 2015.
Those forces would be halved by the end of 2015 before eventually being reduced to a normal embassy presence with a security assistance component by the end of 2016.
But underscoring the instability still roiling Afghanistan, two Americans were slightly wounded in an attack on a US consulate vehicle in Afghanistan’s western city of Herat on Wednesday.
An unidentified gunman on a motorcycle fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the US vehicle in Herat, five days after insurgents attacked an Indian diplomatic mission in the same city near the border with Iran.
Taliban insurgents responded to Obama’s announcement by ruling out an end to fighting until a complete withdrawal of US forces had taken place — a grim indicator that Afghanistan’s long, bloody war is far from over.
“Now that Obama has announced that he will keep around 10,000 troops until the end of 2016 and continue their occupation, Afghanistan Islamic Emirate condemns it and considers it a violation of sovereignty, religion and human rights,” said a Taliban statement.
#AceWorldNews – AFGHANISTAN – May 28 – Two Americans have been injured in an attack on a US consulate vehicle in western Herat province in Afghanistan, the US embassy said on Wednesday.
Both were receiving treatment at a Spanish hospital in the province, Reuters reported. “The US government is working closely with Afghan authorities to investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice,” the statement said.
The attack comes a day after President Barack Obama announced that he plans for almost 10,000 American troops to remain in the country in 2015 if the Afghan government signs a security agreement.
Washington and its NATO allies will formally halt combat operations in Afghanistan at the end of this year.
#AceWorldNews – KABUL – May 06 A roadside bombing has killed nine people and wounded two in Afghanistan’s western Herat province.
The attack took place in the province’s Shindand district around midnight Tuesday, when the vehicle the victims were riding in hit the roadside bomb, AP quoted provincial government spokesman Samih Wafa as saying.
All the victims, from the same family, were on their way from one village to another when the bomb exploded.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.