#AceNewsReport – July.26: The United States has asked Turkey to secure Kabul’s airport after all American and NATO allied troops withdraw from the country by the end of next month.
#AceDailyNews says ….#Taliban says that if Turks extend their military presence in Afghanistan, it will wage jihad against them acording to a warning that came amid fresh battlefield moves that critics say show they are planning a military takeover of Afghanistan in defiance of their peace pledges, raising the prospects of a full-blown civil war if They Stay in Afghanistan,” by Ayaz Gul, VOA News, July 13, 2021:
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday without elaborating that he had agreed with Washington on the “scope” of how to secure and manage the airport.
The Taliban condemned the deal as “reprehensible” and demanded Turkey review its decision.
“We consider stay of foreign forces in our homeland by any country under whatever pretext as occupation,” the group said in a media release. “The extension of occupation will arouse emotions of resentment and hostility inside our country towards Turkish officials and will damage bilateral ties.”…
There were no injuries and the rockets landed outside the heavily fortified palace grounds, said Mirwais Stanikzai, spokesman for the interior minister.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the rocket attack, but police quickly fanned out across the area. One car parked on a nearby street was completely destroyed; the police said it was used as a launching pad for the rockets.
The palace is in the middle of a so-called Green Zone that is fortified with giant cement blast walls and barbed wire, and streets near the palace have long been closed off.
The barrage came as the U.S. and NATO complete their final withdrawal from Afghanistan. Many Afghans are worried whether their war-ravaged country will fall deeper into chaos and violence as foreign forces withdraw and the Taliban gain more territory on the ground, having captured several districts and key border crossings with neighboring countries over the past weeks.
The withdrawal is more than 95% complete and the final U.S. soldier will be gone by Aug. 31, President Joe Biden said in an address earlier this month.
“This Eid has been named after Afghan forces to honor their sacrifices and courage, especially in the last three months,” Ghani said in his address to the nation following morning prayers for Eid al-Adha, or the “Feast of Sacrifice.”
“The Taliban have no intention and willingness for peace,” Ghani said. “We have proven that we have the intention, willingness and have sacrificed for peace.”
Ghani also deplored his government’s decision to release 5,000 Taliban prisoners to get peace talks started last year as a “big mistake” that only strengthened the insurgents.
“We released 5,000 prisoners to start peace talks, but until today the Taliban haven’t shown any serious or meaningful interest in peace negotiations.”
Abdullah Abdullah, the No. 2 official in the government, was inside the palace during the rocket attack on Tuesday, having returned on Monday from peace talks with the Taliban in Qatar. Those inside the palace, however, were far removed from where the rockets landed.
The two days of meetings in Doha — the highest level of negotiations between Kabul and the Taliban so far — aimed at jumpstarting stalled talks but ended with a promise of more high-level talks.
In his speech, Ghani also assailed neighboring Pakistan, which Kabul blames for harboring the Taliban leadership and providing a safe haven and assistance to the insurgents. In the most recent fighting in the Afghan border town of Spin Boldak, Taliban fighters were seen receiving treatment at a Pakistani hospital across the border in Chaman.
Pakistan is seen as key to peace in Afghanistan. The Taliban leadership is headquartered in Pakistan and Islamabad has used its leverage, which it claims is now waning, to press the Taliban to talk peace.
Pakistan has also been deeply critical of Kabul, saying it has allowed another militant group, the Pakistani Taliban — Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan — to find safety in Afghanistan from where they have launched a growing number of attacks targeting the Pakistan military.
“Pakistan does not want a Taliban regime in its homeland” but their media have been “campaigning for a Taliban regime in Afghanistan,” Ghani added.
The Eid al-Adha is the most important Islamic holiday, marking the willingness of the Prophet Ibrahim — Abraham to Christians and Jews — to sacrifice his son. During the holiday, which in most places lasts four days, Muslims slaughter sheep or cattle and distribute part of the meat to the poor.
Associated Press writer Kathy Gannon in Islamabad contributed to this report.
#AceNewsReport – July.16: Ten tribal elders had taken the responsibility of ceasefire, so they first talked to the Taliban, and then talked to the local government and both sides reached a ceasefire,” the provincial governor, Husamuddin Shams, told Reuters.
KABUL: Officials, Taliban strike ceasefire deal in western Afghanistan, in exchange for prisoner release Al Jazeera says provincial governor the move came after fighters from the Islamist group secured complete control over all the districts in Badghis province, reflecting wider gains by the Taliban over territory and infrastructure in the weeks since U.S. President Joe Biden announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops by Sept. 11 Telegram: Reuters
The Taliban reached an agreement with the tribal elders to move to the outskirts of Qala-e-Naw, the capital of Badghis, Shams said.
A spokesman for the Taliban denied they had agreed to a ceasefire but said they had left the city to avoid civilian casualties.
#AceNewsReport – July.08: US forces are scheduled to withdraw from Afghanistan by 11 September 2021, exactly 20 years since 9/11. There are strong indications that the withdrawal may be complete before the official deadline.
Timeline: #Taliban battle their way into western Afghan city as U.S. troops are preparing to leave Afghanistanby no later than 11th September 2021: The anniversary of 9/11
11 September 2001
Al-Qaeda, led by Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan, carries out the largest terror attack ever conducted on US soil.Image caption The World Trade Centre is reduced to rubble Image copyright by Getty
Four commercial airliners are hijacked. Two are flown into the World Trade Centre in New York, which collapses. One hits the Pentagon building in Washington, and one crashes into a field in Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people are killed.
First air strikes
7 October 2001
A US-led coalition bombs Taliban and al-Qaeda facilities in Afghanistan. Targets include Kabul, Kandahar and Jalalabad.
The Taliban, who took power after a decade-long Soviet occupation was followed by civil war, refuse to hand over Bin Laden. Their air defences and small fleet of fighter aircraft are destroyed.
Fall of Kabul
13 November 2001
The Northern Alliance, a group of anti-Taliban rebels backed by coalition forces, enters Kabul as the Taliban flee the city.Image caption Coalition-backed Northern Alliance fighters ride tanks into Kabul as the Taliban retreat Image copyright by Getty
By the 13 November 2001, all Taliban have either fled or been neutralised. Other cities quickly fall.
26 January 2004
After protracted negotiations at a “loya jirga” or grand assembly, the new Afghan constitution is signed into law. The constitution paves the way for presidential elections in October 2004.
Hamid Karzai becomes president
7 December 2004Image caption Hamid Karzai led anti-Taliban groups around Kandahar before becoming president Image copyright by Getty
Hamid Karzai, the leader of the Popalzai Durrani tribe, becomes the first president under the new constitution. He serves two five-year terms as president.
UK troops deployed to Helmand
British troops arrive in Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold in the south of the country.Image caption Soldiers of the Parachute Regiment lead the first UK deployment to Helmand Image copyright by Getty
Their initial mission is to support reconstruction projects, but they are quickly drawn into combat operations. More than 450 British troops lose their lives in Afghanistan over the course of the conflict.
17 February 2009
US President Barack Obama approves a major increase in the number of troops sent to Afghanistan. At their peak, they number about 140,000.Image caption US troops in intense combat operations in the south of the country Image copyright by Getty
The so-called “surge” is modelled on US strategy in Iraq where US forces focussed on protecting the civilian population as well as killing insurgent fighters.
Osama Bin Laden killed
2 May 2011Image caption Bin Laden is traced to a compound located less than a mile from a Pakistani military academy Image copyright by Getty
The leader of al-Qaeda is killed in an assault by US Navy Seals on a compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan. Bin Laden’s body is removed and buried at sea. The operation ends a 10-year hunt led by the CIA. The confirmation that Bin Laden had been living on Pakistani soil fuels accusations in the US that Pakistan is an unreliable ally in the war on terror.
Death of Mullah Omar
23 April 2013
The founder of the Taliban, Mullah Mohammed Omar, dies. His death is kept secret for more than two years.Image caption The Taliban leader is believed to have suffered a shrapnel wound to his right eye in the 1980s Image copyright by EPA
According to Afghan intelligence, Mullah Omar dies of health problems at a hospital in the Pakistani city of Karachi. Pakistan denies that he was in the country.
Nato ends combat operations
28 December 2014
At a ceremony in Kabul, Nato ends its combat operations in Afghanistan. With the surge now over, the US withdraws thousands of troops. Most of those who remain focus on training and supporting the Afghan security forces.
The Taliban launch a series of suicide attacks, car bombings and other assaults. The parliament building in Kabul, and the city of Kunduz are attacked. Islamic State militants begin operations in Afghanistan.Image caption Kabul’s international airport is struck on 10 August 2015 Image copyright by Getty
Death toll announcement
25 January 2019
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says more than 45,000 members of his country’s security forces have been killed since he became leader in 2014. The figure is far higher than previously thought.
US signs deal with Taliban
29 February 2020
The US and the Taliban sign an “agreement for bringing peace” to Afghanistan, in Doha, Qatar. The US and Nato allies agree to withdraw all troops within 14 months if the militants uphold the deal.Image caption The deal lays out a timetable for full withdrawal Image copyright by Getty
Date for final withdrawal
11 September 2021
US forces are scheduled to withdraw from Afghanistan by 11 September 2021, exactly 20 years since 9/11. There are strong indications that the withdrawal may be complete before the official deadline.
#AceNewsReport – June.08: Two separate bomb blasts on two public transport buses killed at least 12 civilians in the Afghan capital Kabul, security officials said on Wednesday, the latest in a series of such attacks in recent weeks as foreign forces withdraw:
AFGHANISTAN: 12 civilians murdered in bomb blasts on buses in Shi’a area: Bombings on two transport buses kill 12 Afghans in Kabul,” Reuters, June 2, 2021:
Both attacks took place on Tuesday evening in western parts of the capital that are home to many from the country’s Shia community, a religious minority in Afghanistan targeted in the past by groups such as Islamic State, the officials said.
Ferdaws Faramarz, Kabul police spokesman, said both buses were carrying passengers when the explosion occurred that killed at least 12 and wounded 10 more. The police launched an investigation, he said.
Roadside bombs, small magnetic bombs attached under vehicles, and other attacks have targeted members of security forces, judges, government officials, civil society activists and journalists in recent months in Afghanistan.
No group claimed responsibility for the twin bombings.
The government usually blames the Taliban for such attacks but the insurgent group denies involvement.
Violence has sharply increased since Washington announced plans to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11….
#AceNewsReport – May.31: Professors and staff from Al-Biruni university were travelling through Charikar, the capital of Parwan province, about 70km (43 miles) north of the capital Kabul:
Afghanistan: ‘Bus blast kills three university staff and has seen increasing violence in recent weeks as the US and Nato prepare to withdraw all troops’ and NO group has claimed responsibility’
The deadline for the withdrawal is 11 September – 20 years to the day since the attack on the World Trade Center in New York. In the months which followed, the US and its allies invaded Afghanistan, forcing the Taliban – a hardline Islamist movement – from power and beginning an almost two-decade long war.
Saturday’s blast happened at around 15:15 local time (10:45 GMT), Bagram police reportedly said.
A spokesman for the ministry of higher education said some of the wounded teachers are in a critical condition. The university’s chancellor was also reportedly injured in the attack.
US and Nato officials have recently said that the Taliban has so far failed to live up to commitments to reduce violence in Afghanistan. The group has denied the allegation.
Students were killed as they left their classrooms. Most of the victims were girls.
On Tuesday Australia announced it was closing its embassy in Afghanistan due to the “increasingly uncertain security environment” in the country. Tens of thousands of Afghan soldiers have been killed and injured. This 2019 video tells their story.
#AceNewsReport – May.13: Afghanistan is seeing increasing violence as the US and Nato prepare to pull out remaining troops by 11 September:
KABUL: ‘Taliban capture Afghan district ahead of Eid ceasefire: The militants confirmed on Tuesday that they had captured Nerkh district in Wardak province in a “surprise attack” Nerkh is the second district in a week to fall’
“The district centre of Nerkh in Maidan Wardak province, the police headquarters, the intelligence department and a large army base there were all captured,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter.
He added that “many enemy soldiers” had been killed or wounded.
Abdul Rahman Tariq, governor of the province, confirmed that the district had been captured and said Afghan troops had “tactically retreated from the district”.
The defence ministry said on Wednesday that it would launch an offensive to gain back the district.
The capture of Nerkh comes after militants took control of Borka district in the northern province of Baghlan on 5 May.
A three-day ceasefire, coinciding with the Muslim festival Eid, is set to begin on Thursday
The Taliban have stepped up assaults on the Afghan government this month.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says government forces are now fully capable of keeping insurgents at bay.
However, not everyone shares the optimism. Many believe the withdrawal could plunge the country back to the dark days of the Taliban era. Tens of thousands of Afghan soldiers have been killed and injured. This 2019 video tells their story.
#AceNewsReport – May.09: The explosions took place as students were leaving the building. Most of the victims were girls, officials said: No-one has admitted carrying out the attack in Dasht-e-Barchi – an area often hit by Sunni Islamist militants:
KABUL: Blasts near school leave more than 50 dead: Funerals have begun for victims of a series of blasts near a secondary school on Saturday, now known to have killed more than 50 people’
1 hour ago
Afghan government officials blamed Taliban militants for the attack, but the group denied any involvement.
Nobel Prize winner and activist Malala Yousafzai – who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012 – posted about the “horrendous attack” on Twitter.
“My heart is with the Kabul school victims’ families,” she wrote.
The exact target for Saturday’s bloodshed is unclear. The blasts come against a backdrop of rising violence as the US looks to withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan by 11 September.
What happened on Saturday?
The explosions are believed to have been caused by a car bomb and two improvised explosive devices planted in the area.
One survivor, Zahra, told reporters she was leaving the school as the blasts took place.
“My classmate died. A few minutes later there was another explosion, and then another. Everyone was screaming and there was blood everywhere,” she said.
EPAA woman is carried to hospital after the attack
Several witnesses described hearing three separate explosions, while one woman, Reza, told AFP news agency she had seen “many bloodied bodies in dust and smoke”.
“I saw a woman checking the bodies and calling for her daughter,” Reza said. “She then found her daughter’s bloodstained purse after which she fainted and fell to the ground.”
More than 100 people were injured in the attack. Reports from Kabul say the city was busy with shoppers ahead of this year’s celebrations for Eid al-Fitr next week.
Najiba Arian, ministry of education spokeswoman, told Reuters news agency the government-run school was open to boys and girls. Most of the those hurt were girls, who study in the second of three sessions, according to Ms Arian.
What’s the context?
Afghanistan is seeing increasing violence as the US and Nato prepare to pull out all remaining forces from the country on 11 September.
On Saturday the US state department condemned “the barbarous attack”.
“We call for an immediate end to violence and the senseless targeting of innocent civilians,” it said.
The European Union’s mission in Afghanistan said on Twitter that “targeting primarily students in a girls’ school, makes this an attack on the future of Afghanistan”.
Heather Barr, who works for Human Rights Watch, tweeted a series of videos and photos of what she said was the school in Kabul – including a tour of the site given by one of the students. Ms Barr said the group had filmed a documentary there in 2017.
Analysis by Secunder Kermani, BBC Afghanistan correspondent
So many places in Afghanistan have endured so much pain, but the Dasht-e-Barchi neighbourhood in Kabul has suffered horrendously.
The neighbourhood is populated by members of Afghanistan’s Hazara ethnic minority. As followers of Shia Islam, the Islamic State group (IS) views them as heretics, and has carried out a vicious campaign, attacking the softest of targets.
Dozens have been killed in bombings at sports halls, cultural centres, and places of education in particular.
Last year, and in 2018, IS suicide bombers struck tuition centres in the area killing more than 70 people. IS is not part of the peace talks between the Taliban and Afghan government, which in any case are currently stalled.
As of yet, there’s been no claim for the attack on Saturday. However, IS continues to carry out assassinations and bombings in Kabul and the city of Jalalabad, despite having recently lost much of the territory it once controlled in the east of the country.
#AceNewsReport – May.09: Editor says this is what we know so far: The first blast occurred in Dasht-e-Barchi area in Kabul’s PD13 which was followed by gunfire: It happened close to the PD13 police headquarters building: Another explosion reportedly happened in Kabul’s PD10 – within half an hour after the first blast…………Kabul police confirmed the first explosion………No group has claimed responsibility for the incidents #AceNewsDesk reports
A suicide attack occurred close to a blood donation campaign in Kabul’s PD4 in Shahr-e-Naw area on Monday, the Kabul Police said: The blast had no casualties, a spokesman for Kabul Police Hashmat Stanekzai told TOLOnews……….The explosion took place at around 11:30am Kabul time after a suicide attacker who wanted to target the event was stopped by police in the area, Stanekzai said………..“Only the suicide bomber was killed after he detonated his explosives before reaching to his target,” he said, adding that “no one was hurt in the blast”……………Meanwhile, the interior minister Wais Ahmad Barmak who addressed lawmakers at the Wolesi Jirga, Lower House of Parliament, on Monday confirmed the incident and said “the enemies have changed their tactics and we will also change our tactics against them”………..No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack. #Kabul – The explosion was a suicide bombing which wanted to target a blood donation campaign in Shahr-e-Naw, but the attacker was stopped by police, Interior Ministry says. No casualty reported.— TOLOnews May 7, 2018: https://t.me/acebreakingnews/724461
#AceWorldNews – AFGHANISTAN:Dec.13 – A recent press release says that two foreign soldiers, have from the USA, were reportedly killed in a NATO convoy near Kabul by a Taliban bomb in a Friday-night attack, according to AP.
“Two International Security Assistance Force service members died as a result of an enemy forces attack in eastern Afghanistan on December 12, 2014,”a coalition press release said, without naming their nationalities.
The number of international troops killed in the country this year is 65, 50 of them Americans.
Early on Saturday, a top court official in Kabul’s northwestern suburbs, Atiqullah Rawoofi, was shot dead, said police chief Farid Afzali. Security in the capital has been recently reinforced amidst Taliban warnings of continuing attacks.
#AceWorldNews – KABUL – Nov.10- At least 10 police were killed after bombs struck three Afghan cities, including the capital Kabul, in east Afghanistan on Monday, Reuters said.
‘ Taliban bombs kill at least 10 police in Afghanistan ‘
The militants claimed responsibility for two of the attacks, which killed the policemen, seven of them in the eastern province of Logar province when a suicide bomber blew himself up at the provincial police headquarters.
Three policemen were killed in eastern Nangarhar province by a bomb planted in a rickshaw.
In Kabul, a magnetic bomb planted in a flower bed near a university injured three people.
#AceWorldNews – KABUL – October 12 – Two Taliban gunmen have attacked the police headquarters of Mazar-i-Sharif, a city in northern Afghanistan.
Two people died in the attack and a further 18 have been injured, local officials told Reuters. “It was the first such incident in Balkh province,” said Abdul Razaq Qaderi, the acting police chief of Balkh.
“Police reacted quickly and killed both of them.” The Taliban have claimed responsibility.
#AceNewsServices – AFGHANISTAN (Kabul) – Five Afghan men were hanged on Wednesday for the gang rape of four women despite the United Nations and human rights groups criticising the trial and calling for new president Ashraf Ghani to stay the executions.
The rapes, which happened near Kabul in August, caused outrage
“Five men in connection to the Paghman incident and one other big criminal were executed this afternoon,” Rahmatullah Nazari, the deputy attorney general, told AFP.
The rapes took place in Paghman, outside Kabul.
There was no immediate comment from the office of President Ashraf Ghani, who faced strong public pressure to not stay the executions after he came to power last week.
“The court’s verdict has been implemented and all the convicts have been executed — five from the Paghman case, plus Habib Istalifi, who was head of a notorious kidnapping gang,” the attorney general’s chief of staff Atta Mohammad Noori told AFP.
Pul-e-Charkhi Prison Where the Five Afghan Men Were Hung’
The men were executed in Pul-e-Charkhi Prison near Kabul.
The brutal attack in August provoked a national outcry with many Afghans demanding the men be hanged, and then-president Hamid Karzai signed their death sentences shortly before leaving office.
#AceWorldNews – AFGHANISTAN (Kabul) – October 03 – Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday pledged support for Afghanistan’s newly sworn-in president and the country’s new unity government, saying during a surprise visit to Kabul that Britain is committed to helping Afghans build a more secure and prosperous future.
#AceNewsServices – AFGHANISTAN – October 02 – The top leader of the Taliban Islamic movement, Mullah Mohammad Omar, has claimed victory in the War in Afghanistan over the US-led NATO forces in a special address to his supporters released on the occasion of Eid al-Adha Muslim holiday, Khaama Press reported on Thursday.
“Your Jihad and ungrudging sacrifices against the occupation have defeated the Americans, their Western allies and domestic supporters altogether with the Help of Allah,” he said in the message.
“All their strategies have proved to be ineffective, with their diplomatic efforts facing fiasco, besides disgrace and ignominy.
The NATO Summit in Wales under the leadership of America, the recent slandering in Afghanistan under the name of elections and the continuous advancements of the Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate are proofs, speaking well for themselves,” the Taliban leader added.
Mullah Mohammad Omar, who has a $10 million bounty on his head from the US State Department, has been hiding since the Taliban was overthrown in 2001 after the US invasion.
About 41,000 NATO troops remain in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban insurgency alongside Afghan soldiers and police. NATO’s combat mission will end in December.
Earlier this week, the United States, NATO and Afghanistan signed a deal to formally justify the presence of a limited military contingent in the Central Asian state after the formal withdrawal of international forces.
A follow-on force of about 12,000 troops is likely to stay into 2015 on training and support duties.
#AceBreakingNews – KABUL – September 29 – Newly inaugurated Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai is expected to sign a vital security deal Tuesday to allow American soldiers to remain in the country past the end of the year, officials say.
A senior Defence Department official confirmed to Fox News that the new president will sign the Bilateral Security Agreement allowing for 9,800 U.S. troops to remain in Afghanistan after 2014. The president also is expected to sign a NATO Status of Forces Agreement, which will allow a small NATO force to stay on as well.
John Podesta, a senior adviser to President Obama, speaking to a news conference at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, said he would sign it on behalf of the U.S.
Moments after Ghani Ahmadzai took the oath, he swore in his election challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, as chief executive, fulfilling a political pledge he had taken to share power and defuse election tensions that had threatened to spark violence between the country’s north and south.
In his first speech, Ghani Ahmadzai called on the Taliban and other militants to join the country’s political process and lay down their weapons. However, extremist violence Monday killed at least 12 civilians and police officers as foreign forces prepare to withdraw from the country at the end of the year.