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August 29, 2021 / 11:12 PM IST

Afghanistan-Taliban Crisis Highlights | Militant fire across Afghan border kills two Pakistani soldiers, says army

Afghanistan-Taliban Crisis Highlights: The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan after the US-backed Afghan government collapsed and President Ashraf Ghani fled the country

Afghanistan-Taliban Crisis Highlights: The Taliban has condemned a US drone strike against Islamic State militants. The United States had launched the drone strike in eastern Afghanistan, said the military, a day after a suicide bombing at Kabul airport killed at least 92 people, including 13 US troops. ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the coordinated suicide bomb and gun assault, which came just days after President Joe Biden warned that the group an affiliate of the Islamic State group operating
in Afghanistan was seeking to target the airport and attack US and allied forces and innocent civilians. The IS affiliate in Afghanistan is far more radical than the Taliban, who recently took control of the country in a lightning blitz. Meanwhile, Taliban forces expected to take full control of Kabul airport very shortly, a spokesman has said. They are preparing a new cabinet as the US evacuation nears its end and they expected that sharp currency falls and economic turmoil following their takeover of Kabul two weeks ago would subside.The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan after the US-backed Afghan government collapsed and President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, bringing an unprecedented end to a two-decade campaign in which the US and its allies had tried to transform the war-ravaged nation. In a Facebook post, Ghani said he had left the country to avoid clashes with the Taliban that would endanger millions of residents of Kabul. After its swift takeover of Afghanistan, the Taliban issued the first 'fatwa' in which their officials in the restive Herat province banned co-education in government and private universities. Days after vowing to respect women's rights in Afghanistan, the Taliban described co-education as the 'root of all evils in society'. Now, they have asked all women healthcare workers to return to work, according to a spokesman.
  • August 29, 2021 / 11:08 PM IST

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  • August 29, 2021 / 10:53 PM IST

    Afghanistan-Taliban Crisis LIVE Updates | Militant fire across Afghan border kills two Pakistani soldiers, says army

    Militant fire from across the border in Afghanistan killed two Pakistani soldiers on Sunday, the army said, in the first such attack since the Taliban took over Kabul ten days ago.

    The army said it retaliated and killed two or three attackers, a claim not verifiable because the tribal districts along the Afghan border are off limits to journalists and human rights organisations.

    The incident in Pakistan's Bajaur district is the first of its kind reported since the Taliban took over Kabul on August 15.

    Bajaur is one of several lawless tribal regions along the Afghan border which have long sheltered militants, including an Islamist militant umbrella organisation called Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

    The TTP, which renewed an allegiance to the Afghan Taliban after the fall of Kabul, has recently stepped up its campaign against the Pakistani army.

    The army did not say which group it thought was responsible for Sunday's attack, but has long held that TTP leaders and fighters are sheltering in Afghanistan after fleeing the tribal districts during military operations targeting militants.

    "As per intelligence reports, due to fire of Pakistan army troops, 2-3 terrorists got killed and 3-4 terrorists got injured," the military said in a statement.

    The statement condemned the "the use of Afghan soil by terrorists for activities against Pakistan and expects that existing and future set-up in Afghanistan will not allow such activities against Pakistan."

    Pakistani Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad has said that Islamabad expected the Afghan Taliban to ensure that the anti-Pakistan Taliban did not use Afghan soil as a launch pad for attacks inside Pakistan.

    Islamabad accuses the TTP of having used Afghanistan as a base from where to carry a suicide attack in northern Pakistan in July that killed nine Chinese workers and four Pakistanis.

    "We expected that the way things were unfolding in Afghanistan, the violence can spill over in Pakistan," Pakistan army spokesman Major General Babar Iftikhar told a news conference on Friday.

    The Afghan Taliban's spokesman Zabihullah Muhaid said in his maiden news conference that the Islamist militants wouldn't allow any group to use Afghan soil against anyone.

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  • August 29, 2021 / 10:38 PM IST

    Afghanistan-Taliban Crisis LIVE Updates | Women allowed to attend university under Taliban rule: Acting minister 


    Afghan women will be allowed to study at university but there would be a ban on mixed classes under their rule, the Taliban's acting higher education minister said on Sunday.

    The hardline Islamist group that stormed to power in mid-August after ousting the Western-back government have vowed to rule differently compared to their 1990s stint when girls and women were banned from education. 

    "The... people of Afghanistan will continue their higher education in the light of Sharia law in safety without being in a mixed male and female environment," Abdul Baqi Haqqani, the Taliban's acting minister for higher education said at a meeting with elders, known as a loya jirga, on Sunday. 

    He said the Taliban want to "create a reasonable and Islamic curriculum that is in line with our Islamic, national and historical values and, on the other hand, be able to compete with other countries".

    Girls and boys will also be segregated at primary and secondary schools, which was already common throughout deeply conservative Afghanistan. 

    The group have pledged to respect progress made in women's rights, but only according to their strict interpretation of Islamic law.

    Whether women can work, get education at all levels and be able to mix with men have been some of the most pressing questions.

    But the Taliban rebranding is being treated with scepticism, with many questioning whether the group will stick to its pledges.

    No women were present at the meeting in Kabul on Sunday, which included other senior Taliban officials.

    AFP

  • August 29, 2021 / 10:07 PM IST

    Afghanistan-Taliban Crisis LIVE Updates | China Foreign Minister, US Sec of State discuss Afghanistan amid tense ties 

    Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed Afghanistan and U.S.-China relations in a phone call on Sunday, Chinese state media said, amid tensions between the world's two largest economies. Wang said it is necessary for all sides to engage with the Taliban and "positively guide" them, according to Chinese state television. Wang said that Washington should work with the international community to provide economic and humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, help the new regime run governmental functions normally, maintain social stability, stop the currency from depreciating and the cost of living from rising. "While respecting the sovereignty of Afghanistan, the U.S. should take concrete action to help Afghanistan fight terrorism and stop violence, rather than playing double standards or fighting terrorism selectively," Wang was quoted as telling Blinken on a call that Chinese state TV said was made at the invitation of Washington. On U.S.-China ties, Wang said recent communications between the two countries on Afghanistan and climate change show that dialogue and cooperation are better than confrontation. "China will consider how to engage with the U.S. side based on the U.S. attitude towards China," Wang was quoted as saying.

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  • August 29, 2021 / 09:31 PM IST

    Afghanistan-Taliban Crisis LIVE Updates | US evacuates over 5,500 American nationals from Afghanistan: official 

    The US has safely evacuated more than 5,500 American nationals from Afghanistan including about 50 people in the last day and there are nearly 250 Americans who are trying to leave the war-torn country, the State Department said on Sunday.

  • August 29, 2021 / 09:12 PM IST

    Afghanistan-Taliban Crisis LIVE Updates | Biden travels to air base to honor U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan

    U.S. President Joe Biden arrived at Dover Air Force Base on Sunday to honor members of the military killed in a suicide bomb attack during the evacuation of civilians from Afghanistan last week. An Islamic State suicide bombing on Thursday killed scores of Afghans and 13 American troops who were guarding Kabul's airport amid an airlift that has evacuated about 114,400 people in the past two weeks. American forces launched a military strike in the Afghan capital on Sunday targeting a possible suicide car bomb, U.S. officials said. "We are in a period of serious danger given what we are seeing in the intelligence," Biden's national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, told CNNs "State of the Union" program in an interview broadcast on Sunday, before the latest strike was reported. "We are taking every possible measure at the direction of the president to ensure that our forces are protected on the ground even as they complete their mission of bringing in the remaining American citizens and Afghan allies." Biden, a Democrat, faced criticism from Republican lawmakers, who accused his administration of bungling the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

  • August 29, 2021 / 08:57 PM IST

    Afghanistan-Taliban Crisis LIVE Updates | US Central Command Spokesperson confirms unmanned airstrike on vehicle in Kabul

    US military forces conducted a self-defense unmanned over-the-horizon airstrike today on a vehicle in Kabul , eliminating an imminent ISIS-K threat to Hamid Karzai International Airport. We're confident we successfully hit the target. Significant secondary explosions from the vehicle indicated the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material. We are assessing the possibilities of civilian casualties, though we have no indications at this time: Bill Urban, spokesperson, US Central Command

  • August 29, 2021 / 08:29 PM IST

    Afghanistan-Taliban Crisis LIVE Updates | Private convoy helps evacuate 147 people from Kabul: German Foreign Office 

    A privately organised convoy reached the airport in Kabul with 147 people in need of protection, all of whom were evacuated Sunday morning, according to Germany's Foreign Office. Those evacuated via the convoy, which was operated by a German security contractor, included local staff for the German government and employees of the contractor. Those evacuated via the convoy, which was operated by a German security contractor, included local staff for the German government and employees of the contractor. The operation was conducted with help from US forces, and in close communication with the German Foreign Office. 

  • August 29, 2021 / 08:25 PM IST

    Afghanistan-Taliban Crisis LIVE Updates | Turkish President Erdogan signals willingness to develop Afghanistan 

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has signaled his willingness to help the Taliban develop Afghanistan. Citing Turkey's experience in large-scale construction and infrastructure projects, he said: We want to help on this point ... But to help, the doors need to be opened. That's why our intelligence (agency) is currently meeting Taliban representatives. Citing Turkey's experience in large-scale construction and infrastructure projects, he said: We want to help on this point ... But to help, the doors need to be opened. That's why our intelligence (agency) is currently meeting Taliban representatives. Speaking to journalists on a return flight from Montenegro, Erdogan stressed the importance of former Afghan President Hamid Karzai and ex-Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, who led talks with the Taliban. Both men remained in Kabul after its fall two weeks ago. He said the Taliban's reformist approach to issues such as women's rights would be taken into consideration in any future negotiations. (AP) He said the Taliban's reformist approach to issues such as women's rights would be taken into consideration in any future negotiations. 

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  • August 29, 2021 / 08:24 PM IST

    Afghanistan-Taliban Crisis LIVE Updates | Pope Francis expresses great worry on situation in Afghanistan 

    Pope Francis has expressed great worry about the situation in Afghanistan, in particular for the suffering of those who were killed in the suicide attack outside the Kabul airport.

  • August 29, 2021 / 08:17 PM IST

    Afghanistan-Taliban Crisis LIVE Updates | U.S. officials say a drone strike hit a vehicle carrying Islamic State suicide bombers heading for the Kabul airport

    U.S. officials say a drone strike hit a vehicle carrying Islamic State suicide bombers heading for the Kabul airport. A military official said the strike caused “significant secondary explosions” indicating the presence of explosives in the vehicle.

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