Afghan president visits key city, week after Taliban raid

19 August, 2018, 20:21 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Afghans mourn a victim of the deadly suicide bombing

Azam said that one Army helicopter brought Chinese Camp "three sacks of rice" on August 3, one day after the ISIS captives were taken to Kabul.

Authorities meanwhile revised the death toll from Wednesday's bombing in Kabul's neighborhood of Dasht-e-Barchi to 34 killed, not 48.

Last Friday, hundreds of Taliban fighters had launched an attack on Ghazni, the capital of the Ghazni province, leading to five days of clashes between the rebels and the security forces that killed almost 500 people, including 326 Taliban fighters, and over one hundred members of the security forces.

Afghan Special Forces, backed by advisers from the NATO-led Resolute Support mission, surrounded the site and kept the attackers in a standoff for hours, with the occasional sound of gunfire or explosions.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the blast, which killed at least 34 people, a lot of them students attending an English class.

Before the attack on the Malikyar school, Islamic State, also known as Daesh, issued warnings through radio broadcasts and letters to schools that they would carry out attacks in retaliation for pressure their fighters were facing.

The last Eid truce, which saw unarmed Taliban fighters mingling with soldiers and police in Kabul and other cities, offered a rare glimpse of peace and Taliban officials say they have held preliminary meetings with USA diplomats. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the incident.

IS, which considers Shias to be heretics, frequently targets them, attacking their mosques, schools and cultural centres.

He says that in past two years, there were at least 13 attacks on the Shiite community in Kabul alone.

However, the devastating attacks across the country in recent days have led many to question how such negotiations could move ahead.

Mashal said 10 bodies of Taliban fighters discovered beneath a destroyed market were handed over Thursday to the International Red Cross.

A reporter saw Taliban forces in at least one village on the outskirts of the city, and residents said they had been told by security forces that the militants remained uncomfortably close. Government control is largely limited to the city, district centers and a handful of small districts are dominated by ethnic Hazaras.

"The deliberate targeting of civilians and the targeting of places of education is a war crime", said Samira Hamidi, Amnesty's South Asia campaigner.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has also condemned the "terrorist" attack on the Shiites that "martyred and wounded the innocent" - students attending class - and ordered an investigation to determine how the bomber had managed to sneak into the compound, which has its own guards. Afghan troops backed by United States air support have struggled to push the insurgents from Ghazni, which lies just two hours south of Kabul by road, since the assault began late on Thursday.

Seeing the escalation in the Taliban's attacks, it seems like the Afghanistan government and the U.S. are losing grip over the situation in Afghanistan.

She said UNICEF again calls on all parties to the conflict "to adhere to and respect humanitarian principles, and ensure the safety and protection of all children".

"The Taliban will try to have an upper hand during talks, so we can not rule out more attacks until a ceasefire", said Taliban expert Rahimullah Yusufzai.



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