Category Archives: Afghanistan

Dozens dead in bombing at Kabul voter registration centre

Islamic State claims responsibility for suicide attack on ID cards queue that killed at least 57 people

A suicide bomber has killed at least 57 people and wounded dozens outside a voter registration centre in Kabul, in an attack claimed by Islamic State.

The public health ministry spokesman Wahid Majro said another 54 people were wounded in Sunday’s attack. Gen Daud Amin, the Kabul police chief, said the suicide bomber targeted hundreds of civilians who were queuing to receive national identification cards to vote in legislative elections scheduled for 20 October.

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Source: gad

Family of Afghan man tortured by CIA demands US reveal location of his body

Gul Rahman was killed in a secret CIA interrogation facility where he endured being doused with frigid water and shackled naked

It took almost 15 years for Gul Rahman’s family to receive a direct acknowledgment that he had been killed in a secret CIA interrogation facility in Afghanistan.

Now the family is pressing the United States to disclose what happened to his remains.

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Source: gad

Why is the world at war?

Syria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen, Afghanistan, Ukraine – the globe is scarred by violence

We live in a world of trouble. Conflicts today may be much less lethal than those that scarred the last century, but this brings little comfort. We remain deeply anxious. We can blame terrorism and the fear it inspires despite the statistically unimportant number of casualties it inflicts, or the contemporary media and the breathless cycle of “breaking news”, but the truth remains that the wars that seem to inspire the fanatics or have produced so many headlines in recent years prompt deep anxiety. One reason is that these wars appear to have no end in sight.

To explain these conflicts we reach for easy binary schema – Islam v the west; haves against have-nots; nations that “play by the rules” of the international system against “rogues”. We also look to grand geopolitical theories – the end of the Westphalian system, the west faced by “the rise of the rest” – or even just attribute the violence to “geography”. None of these explanations seems to adequately allay our concerns.

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Source: gad

Afghan boy launches legal challenge against UK refugee policy

Teenager argues Home Office applied unfair selection criteria after Calais camp closed

A 16-year-old Afghan boy is challenging the government’s refusal to allow him to seek sanctuary in the UK in a case that could give hope to thousands of other child asylum seekers across Europe.

The boy, known as ZS, was living in the Calais refugee camp when the French authorities cleared it in October 2016 and he applied unsuccessfully to be brought to the UK under section 67 of the immigration act, known as the Dubs amendment. It is the first time an lone child asylum seeker has issued a challenge of this kind against the home secretary.

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Source: gad

Afghan president offers to recognise Taliban to end war

Ashraf Ghani proposes ceasefire and release of prisoners as part of possible pact with militants

The Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, has offered to recognise the Taliban as a legitimate political group as part of a process that he said could lead to talks to end more than 16 years of war.

The offer, made on Wednesday at the start of an international conference aimed at creating a platform for peace discussions, is the latest signal from the western-backed government and the Taliban of greater willingness to consider dialogue.

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Source: gad

‘Unspeakable numbers’: 10,000 civilians killed or injured in Afghanistan in 2017

Casualties above 10,000 for the fourth consecutive year, despite small drop on 2016 figures, as UN describes ‘appalling human suffering’

More than 10,000 civilians were killed or injured in the violent attacks in the war in Afghanistan last year, the United Nations has said.

The annual report released on 15 February by the UN’s mission in Afghanistan (Unama) showed the figure had dropped by 9% in 2017, compared with the previous year.

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Source: gad

Taliban publish letter calling on US to start Afghan peace talks

‘American people’ and ‘peace-loving congressmen’ urged to press Trump into negotiating

In an unexpected overture at a time of spiralling bloodshed in Afghanistan, the Taliban have published an open letter expressing a desire for peace talks and calling on the “American people” and “peace-loving congressmen” to pressurise the Donald Trump administration into negotiations.

The letter, released by the Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, comes amid deteriorating conditions for US and Afghan coalition forces on the battlefield and after a month in which two major Taliban assaults on Kabul killed 150 civilians.

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Source: gad

Atia Abawi: 'There were lifejackets everywhere. People died trying to live'

Her own experiences as a refugee did little to prepare the Afghan-American young adult novelist for the disturbing realities that greeted her in Lesbos while writing her new book about people fleeing Syria

Atia Abawi, a young adult novelist, was working on a very different book when an epiphany occurred.

Sitting in her apartment with her young son, she was watching news reports of Syrian refugees on the deadly smuggling routes to Europe. Suddenly, she knew she had to write about that experience instead.

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Source: gad

Real patient or suicide bomber? The perils of being a Kabul ambulance driver

Afghan police have increased searches of emergency vehicles since recent attack – a deadly delay in an already dangerous city

As Kabul ambulance driver Zemari Khan raced a bleeding patient to hospital on Thursday, he came to one of the city’s latticework of checkpoints. A long line of vehicles had suddenly been waved through, but Khan was ordered to stop, hand over his ID and open the rear door so a police officer could check if his patient was real.

In the week since the Taliban detonated an explosives-laden ambulance on a busy shopping street, killing 105 people, life has become harder across the Afghan capital – but particularly so for its paramedics.

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Source: gad