News in Brief

Three Afghan policemen were killed and a senior officer wounded when unknown gunmen ambushed their vehicle in the Dawlat Shah district of eastern Laghman Province on Monday night. Laghman Governor Shah Mahmood Safi told the media that Rahim Mukhlis, the police chief of Dawlat Shah, was on a daily patrol along with his squad when some unidentified gunman opened fire on them. Three policemen died on the spot, while their officer was injured and rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment. One attacker was also killed in an exchange of fire from police, but the rest of the attackers managed to escape from the area. He did not mention anyone responsible for the killing, saying they are investigating the incident. It's not clear who planned the attack and as of now no-one has taken responsibilty for the attack. A week ago, 3 Pakistanis were arrested in Laghman province during an attempt on the life of former US ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad. Afghan people have now realized that all security problems in Afghanistan are managed and planned from Pakistan and some poeple think that Pakistani intelligence is behind all the security problems in Afghanistan.

According to the reports from eastern province of Kunar, the police chief of Sarkano district was killed along with two of his sons on Tuesday when a roadside bomb blew up their vehicle south of Asad Asadabad, the capital of the eastern province of Kunar. Seven other policemen were also injured in this incident on the same day several rockets were launched near an election commission office in Asadabad, but caused no casualties or damage.

Two other police officers were killed and two were injured when a roadside bomb hit their vehicle in Naish district in the southern province of Kandahar. The presidential spokesman Javid Ludin told a news conference that the election would be more successful than last October's presidential election. He said fighting in the southwest last week showed the weakness of the Taliban. He said the Afghan National Army is ready to take care of security during September's parliamentary election.




178 Taliban have been Killed, 56 Arrested, in Kandahar

Afghan and US soldiers have killed 74 Taliban fighters in a new joint operation against the Taliban fighters in Mian Nisheen district of Kandahar province. It raised the Taliban casualty to 178 since Tuesday last week. Officials of the Afghan Defence Ministry confirmed the killing of the 74 Taliban. Defence Ministry spokesman General Zahir Azmimi told reporters 4 Afghan forces have also been killed. The operation which was conducted by US soldiers, Afghan National Army and national police on Tuesday evening in Mina Nisheen district was one of the biggest operations since the fall of the Taliban and most of the militant deaths occurred from US warplanes armed with laser-guided bombs and supported by British aircraft. He added that the operation ended successfuly. He said 6 of the ousted regime's top commanders have also been killed or arrested after a three-day battle in the south of the country. In total, 71 Taliban fighters have been arrested. According to a security official in Kandara, 4 Pakistani and one Arab national are also among the detainees. US and Afghan military officials claimed on Thursday that the Afghan National Army ringed four Taliban commanders, including Mullah Brader, the brother-in-law of fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, in a mountain hideout. But the claim could not be independently confirmed. But on Saturday the Defence Ministry spokesman announced that the siege had been broken and Taliban commanders had escaped from the area. Taliban spokesman Mullah Abdul Latif Hakimi rejected the government claim over the Taliban's casualties and said only 9 Taliban including Mullah Isa had been killed. He said all other government claims were untrue. Independent media have not confirmed the casualties yet.




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One Election worker Killed another Wounded

An Afghan election worker was shot dead and another wounded in an attack on their vehicle in the southern province of Kandahar on Tuesday. An Afghan security official said rebels opened fire with rifles in an ambush on the workers' vehicle at 2pm in the Maiwand district of Kandahar province. Both employees were Afghan civilians working for the {JEMB} Joint Electoral Management Body which is organising parliamentary elections due to be held on September 18. Kandahar police chief General Ayub Salangi said Police are looking for the culprits who fired at the {JEMB} car. Taliban spokesman Abdul Latif Hakimi claimed responsibility for the attack in a phone interview with Reuters. He vows to continue with similar attacks in the future. It's the second incident of rebels killing innocent election workers.

Earlier this month another Afghan election worker who was educating the public about the vote was killed in the chaotic Uruzgan province. The Taliban have increased their insurgency in recent weeks which have seen dozens of rebels and government forces losing their lives in the increasing violence from Taliban and Al Qaida in the southern and southeastern parts of the country. Concern is being raised among the people. Some people think that the parliamentary election might not be held on time. We hope the Afghan National Army and coalition forces will not let the enemy create problems during the parliamentary election. We hope that Afghans vote in a peaceful environment and the upcoming parliamentary election will be transparent and democratic.




Kandahar Police Chief Executed By Taliban

Taliban rebles admitted to executing the Mian Nushin District Chief of Police along with six other policemen on sunday. They have been holding 31 policemen and officials as prisoners since thursday, in the southern province of Kandahar. Mulla Abdul Latif Hakimi who claims to be the Taliban spoksman; said the District Police Chief of Mian Nushin District (Nani Agha) was executed and shot to death by three bullets at 8:30 am Sunday morning after a brief trial of Mullah's Taliban religious leaders. Hakimi added, District Police Chief Nani Agha was involved in killing numerous taliban fighters in Kandahar province since the fall of the Taliban in late 2001. His crime was most serious therefore he should be executed. He revealed that the body was dumped in a village near Mian Nushin district, and the Afghan Government is free to claim the corpe. This is the first known trial and execution by the Taliban since 2001. Taliban guerrillas had captured 31 policemen and the District Chief after attacking thursday and friday night in Mian Nushin District, north of Kandahar province, and taking over main government buildings

Mian Nushin was the scene of clashes last week, when government and coalition forces killed nine Taliban fighters and detained 11 others. According to the new reports by Taliban Spokesman Hakimi, the Taliban have released Malik Noor Muhammed, the District Chief of Mian Nushin District along with some other officials, after tribal elders intervened with the Taliban. An official of the interior ministry told Bakhtar the news, of the captured 31 policemen and officials. And that it had taken place with the help of a conspiring official. He did not disclose the name of the official involved. The Afghan Army and Coalition Forces are preparing for a huge operation in the region.

In another attack, Taliban insurgents have killed a judge and two other intelligance officers in a area south of Lashkarga; the capital of the troubled Helmand province. Thursday night at 7pm Amanullah, the security officer of the Helmand provice, confirmed the deaths and accused Taliban insurgents for the killings. Officials in Kabul have not commented about these incidents as of yet. Kandahar, Helmand, and other southern provices, have been the scene of new waves of insurgency by the Taliban Insurgency during the last month.




Parliamentary Candidate Killed in Kandahar

Taliban rebles killed an Afghan Parliamentry Candidate in the area of the Kandahar province. Candidate Abdul Wahid was killed in an attack by an enemy of the country. According to reports, Kandahar Police Chief General Mohammed Ayub Salangi said, "Candidate Abdul Wahid was an open minded person he was very papular among kandahar people and a close friend of President Hamid Karzai." Taliban spoksman Lofullah Hakimi claimed responsibility for the killing and said we have killed another candidate in Gazni province as well. Hakimi said they will kill anyone who works for the government; we already told people many times not to work with the government or coalition forces. He said Candidate Abdul Wahid was spreading propaganda against the Taliban Islamic Emirat. Taliban rebles have increased their insurgencies with a fresh wave of violence against the national government and coalition forces in recent weeks. A few days ago a doctor and six medical attendants were killed in an attack by Taliban rebles in Khost Province in a separate incident. This incident involved a civilian wagon hitting a newly planted landmine killing two passenegers in the wagon. The Afghan National Army and Coalition Forces also increases their attacks on the Taliban insurgents; earlier this week Nine Taliban insurgents were killed, and 10 were injured in an operation conducted by the Afghan Army in the southern province of Kandahar. During this operation 21 rebles were arrested. So far this year over 150 insurgents have been killed in violence. According to US And Afghan officials, dozens of government soldiers and 13 US troopers have also died since march this year. People hope that teh Afghan National Army and Coalition Forces will increase their attacks on the rebles to defeat them completely before elections take place. So they will not be able to creat problems during the Parliamentey election in September. People want to be able to vote in a peaceful environment and atomsphere.




New Phase of Disarmament Begins in Afghanistan

Afghanistan launched a new phase of disarmament to disarm militia, ordering more than 1,000 illegal armed groups to hand over their guns as the country prepares for its first parliamentary election in September. According to the Afghanistan New Beginning Program (ANBP), this process is unconditional and all militia forces that are not part of the Afghan National Army and other government organs should surrender their light and heavy weapons before the parliamentary election. US and NATO troops will be involved and cooperate in the latest phase of disarmament. Disarmed fighters in the latest phase of the disarmament program will not receive cash or other concessions. Fighters disarmed in the first phase were given money and were trained by short-term courses to open a new livelihood and most of them have entered into civilian life.

Most of the militia forces were disarmed in the first phase of the disarmament program but up to 1,800 small illegal armed groups remain and most of the groups have between 100 and 200 men which will be disarmed in the new phase of the disarmament drive. Over 60,000 ex-militia, warlords and Mujahideen have been disarmed in the first phase of the disarmament program. Afghanistan New Beginnings Program (ANBP) recorded the number of disarmed men at 60,076 of which 49,431 have returned to civilian life. Around 33,500 medium and light weapons have been collected from military units and less than a third of those weapons were transferred to the Afghan Ministry of Defence and the Afghan National Army. All usable ammunition has been transported to safe storage.

Afghan people welcome the second phase of disarmament and hope that all illegal militia forces will be disarmed before the parliamentary elections. Some people fear that some illegal armed man will create problems and might force people to vote for some of their commanders during the election. Afghanistan's electoral law prohibits any candidate with links to armed militias from standing for parliament and provincial councils. It's difficult to know which candidates command armed men.




Kandahar's Blast Was not Suicide says Akbar Khakrizwal

The suicide attack in Kandahar province last week which killed over 20 people has taken a new turn after Akbar Khakrizwal, the brother of slain Kabul police chief Akram Khakrizwal, claimed that last week's bomb blast in Kandahar city's Mosque was not a suicide blast. He warned the government to initiate a serious investigation into the deadly bomb blast, otherwise he would disclose the name of all involved behind this bloody attack. Speaking at a press conference, Akbar Khakrizwal said it was a remote-controlled bomb and the culprits escaped because of the bad security arrangement. He said the bomb was planted and placed under the carpet near the door and exploded when his brother Akram Khakrizwal was exiting the mosque. Giving an eyewitness account, he said he had seen pieces of the carpet flying in the air as a result of the strong bomb blast. He said soon after the explosion the police had to close the exit gates of the mosque and let people go out one by one after undergoing body searches. He added no evidence was found yet to prove the death of any Arab in the explosion and if the officials believe it was a suicide attack then they should present proof to people. He also said that 40 people were killed, while the government said the number of casualties was 20.

Kandahar governor Gul Agha Shirzai said in his statement right after the explosion that it was a suicide attack and was carried out by an unidentified Arab national. Azatullah Wasifi, the governor of Farah province, has also rejected the involvement of a suicide attacker and asked the Kandahar officials to find evidence. Some circles in Kandahar blamed the old enmity behind it. President Karzai has already appointed a high level inquiry commission to investigate into this explosion. The Ministry of Interior spokesman Lutfullah Mashal announced yesterday that the one week investigation revealed that it was a suicide attack and the attacker was an Arab national. He added that they found two feet of unidentified person and during one week all the dead bodies were identified by their families except for these two feet, which proves they were the feet of suicide attacker. The Taliban disassociated themselves from the incident. Taliban spokesman Abdul Hakim said they could not even think of killing innocent people and targeting individuals.

Religious leaders and parties strongly condemn the bomb blast in
Kandara's mosque at a joint press conference on Wednesday. They said Islam does not allow targeting innocent people. They termed it as an inhumane attack and announced their fullest support to the president Hamid Karzai. I think the Kandahra bomb blast was an inhumane attack and it was against humanity and it was a cowardly act killing innocent people at sacred religious places such as a mosque. It is against Islam and the terrorists should never call themselves Muslims because they are not Muslims, as their actions are against human beings. I hope the government will as soon as possible capture the criminals behind this incident and punish them.




Afghan forces Destroy Country's Largest Drug Bazaar

Afghan security forces, during an operation conducted in Bahram Chah Bazaar of in Helmand province; recently seized 2 1/2 tons of opium and destroyed the largest illegal drug market nearthe Pakistan border. Hundreds of these smugglers escaped across the forntier. During the three-day operation noone was killed or injured.there are usually 1,000 smugglers and traffickers of opium and heroin every day at the Bahram Chah bazaar. This bazaar is only 80 metters {yards} away from the border with Pakistan. Deputy Minister of the Interior of Counter Narcotics (Gen Mohammed Daoud) told reporters at a press conference that approximately 250 Kg heroin, 2.5 tons of opium, and 3.5 tons of chemical liquid used in the manufacture heroin have also been confiscated during this successful operation.

The bazaar was not been targeted earlier because it was considered too remote and well protected. More security forces have been deployed to Bahram Chah to prevent and control possible reorganization of the smugglers in the area. Gen Daoud showed a video of the raid by Afghan Special Narcotics Forces. Dozens of soldiers and officers with guns at the ready and scarfs warpped around their faces were riding on the back of pickup trucks driving toward the drug markets,but there was no fighting because all the drug traffickers had fled,the video then cut to the shot of a small fire, which were seized drugs being destroyed.This is the first time that the Afghan Narcotics Forces conducted such an operation in a mountainous region along the border with Pakistan where hudreds of Taliban Militias are believed to have hidden. Bahram Chah is very near Pakistan and all the smugglers and traffickers involved escaped across the border. The capacity of the Afghan Narcotics Forces improved greatly with each passing year.in 2002 The Afghan Narcotics Forces confiscated only three tons of drugs, but in 2003 the quantity shot up to over 100 tons. So far this year we have seized around 50 tons of contraband. According to the official government of Afghanistan, they are determined to remove the shame of drugs and to take serious action against those involved in the processing and trafficking of drugs. The Anti drug operation will begin soon in other parts of the country as well.


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