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Afghanistan Peace Process

Haris Ali2140

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MAY 12, 2020 / 11:44 AM / UPDATED 2 HOURS AGO
Newborns among 16 dead in Kabul hospital attack; 24 killed in funeral bombing

Abdul Qadir Sediqi, Hamid Shalizi, Ahmad Sulta

KABUL/JALALABAD (Reuters) - Gunmen disguised as police attacked a hospital in the Afghan capital Kabul on Tuesday, killing 16 people including two newborn babies from a maternity clinic run by the international humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders.

In a separate attack the same day, a suicide bomber struck the funeral of a police commander, attended by government officials and a member of parliament, in the eastern province of Nangahar, killing at least 24 people and injuring 68. Authorities said that toll could rise.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for either attack. The Taliban, Afghanistan’s main Islamist insurgency group which says it has halted attacks on cities under a U.S. troop withdrawal deal, denied involvement in both.

The Islamic State militant group operates in Nangahar and has carried out a number of high-profile attacks in Kabul in recent months. On Monday security forces arrested its regional leader in the capital.

The violence, as the country battles the coronavirus pandemic, risks derailing momentum towards U.S.-brokered peace talks between the Taliban and an Afghan government long sceptical of the insurgents’ renunciation of attacks.

Photos from the Ministry of Interior showed two young children lying dead inside the hospital. An image showed a woman who had been killed lying on the ground still holding tightly to her baby, who a nurse in the unit confirmed to Reuters had survived and had been moved to an intensive care unit at another hospital.

President Ashraf Ghani in a televised address condemned the attacks and said he had ordered the military to switch to ‘offensive’ mode rather than the defensive stance it had adopted as the United States withdraws troops and tries to broker the talks.

“In order to provide security for public places and to thwart attacks and threats from the Taliban and other terrorist groups, I am ordering Afghan security forces to switch from an active defence mode to an offensive one and to start their operations against the enemies,” he said.

Meanwhile National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib said on Twitter: “there seems little point in continuing to engage Taliban in peace talks”.



Afghan security forces stand guard outside Dasht-e-Barchi Hospital which came under attack in Kabul, Afghanistan May 12, 2020. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

MOTHERS, CHILDREN, NURSES

The Kabul attack began in the morning when at least three gunmen wearing police uniforms entered the Dasht-e-Barchi hospital, throwing grenades and shooting, government officials said. Security forces had killed the attackers by the afternoon.

“The attackers were shooting at anyone in this hospital without any reason. It’s a government hospital, and a lot of people bring in their women and children for treatment,” said Ramazan Ali, a nearby vendor who saw the start of the attack.

The 100-bed government-run hospital hosted a maternity clinic run by Doctors Without Borders, also known by its French name Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

MSF confirmed in a tweet that the hospital had been attacked. Just hours before it had tweeted a photo of a newborn at the clinic in his mother’s arms after being delivered safely by emergency caesarean section.

Interior and health ministry officials said that mothers, nurses and children were among the dead and wounded.

Soldiers ferried infants out of the compound, some wrapped in blood-stained blankets, and officials said 100 people were rescued, including three foreigners.

The neighbourhood is home to many members of Afghanistan’s Hazara community, a mostly Shia Muslim minority that has been attacked by Sunni militants from Islamic State in the past, including at a Kabul ceremony commemorating the death of one of its leaders in March.

Rights group Amnesty International condemned both attacks.


“The unconscionable war crimes in Afghanistan today, targeting a maternity hospital and a funeral, must awaken the world to the horrors civilians continue to face,” the group tweeted. “There must be accountability for these grave crimes.”

Countries including the United Kingdom, Germany, Turkey and Pakistan released statements condemning the violence.

Last week, security forces killed and arrested several members of an Islamic State cell that authorities said was responsible for several attacks in Kabul including one on a Sikh temple in March. A roadside blast in the capital on Monday, which wounded four civilians, was claimed by the group.

Afghanistan is also facing violence around the country from the Taliban, even as the United States tries to usher in peace talks after signing a troop withdrawal agreement in February with the militants. The Taliban say they are holding back from attacking urban centres and their operations are aimed at government security forces.

Reporting by Abdul Qadir Sediqi and Hamid Shalizi and Ahmad Sultan; additional reporting by Rupam Jain, Orooj Hakimi and Sayed Hassib; Writing by Charlotte Greenfield; Editing by Christian Schmollinger, Robert Birsel, Peter Graff and Howard Goller

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-...ck-24-killed-in-funeral-bombing-idUSKBN22O0RS
 

CrazyZ

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WORLD NEWS
MAY 12, 2020 / 11:44 AM / UPDATED 2 HOURS AGO
Newborns among 16 dead in Kabul hospital attack; 24 killed in funeral bombing

Abdul Qadir Sediqi, Hamid Shalizi, Ahmad Sulta

KABUL/JALALABAD (Reuters) - Gunmen disguised as police attacked a hospital in the Afghan capital Kabul on Tuesday, killing 16 people including two newborn babies from a maternity clinic run by the international humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders.

In a separate attack the same day, a suicide bomber struck the funeral of a police commander, attended by government officials and a member of parliament, in the eastern province of Nangahar, killing at least 24 people and injuring 68. Authorities said that toll could rise.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for either attack. The Taliban, Afghanistan’s main Islamist insurgency group which says it has halted attacks on cities under a U.S. troop withdrawal deal, denied involvement in both.

The Islamic State militant group operates in Nangahar and has carried out a number of high-profile attacks in Kabul in recent months. On Monday security forces arrested its regional leader in the capital.

The violence, as the country battles the coronavirus pandemic, risks derailing momentum towards U.S.-brokered peace talks between the Taliban and an Afghan government long sceptical of the insurgents’ renunciation of attacks.

Photos from the Ministry of Interior showed two young children lying dead inside the hospital. An image showed a woman who had been killed lying on the ground still holding tightly to her baby, who a nurse in the unit confirmed to Reuters had survived and had been moved to an intensive care unit at another hospital.

President Ashraf Ghani in a televised address condemned the attacks and said he had ordered the military to switch to ‘offensive’ mode rather than the defensive stance it had adopted as the United States withdraws troops and tries to broker the talks.

“In order to provide security for public places and to thwart attacks and threats from the Taliban and other terrorist groups, I am ordering Afghan security forces to switch from an active defence mode to an offensive one and to start their operations against the enemies,” he said.

Meanwhile National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib said on Twitter: “there seems little point in continuing to engage Taliban in peace talks”.



Afghan security forces stand guard outside Dasht-e-Barchi Hospital which came under attack in Kabul, Afghanistan May 12, 2020. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

MOTHERS, CHILDREN, NURSES

The Kabul attack began in the morning when at least three gunmen wearing police uniforms entered the Dasht-e-Barchi hospital, throwing grenades and shooting, government officials said. Security forces had killed the attackers by the afternoon.

“The attackers were shooting at anyone in this hospital without any reason. It’s a government hospital, and a lot of people bring in their women and children for treatment,” said Ramazan Ali, a nearby vendor who saw the start of the attack.

The 100-bed government-run hospital hosted a maternity clinic run by Doctors Without Borders, also known by its French name Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

MSF confirmed in a tweet that the hospital had been attacked. Just hours before it had tweeted a photo of a newborn at the clinic in his mother’s arms after being delivered safely by emergency caesarean section.

Interior and health ministry officials said that mothers, nurses and children were among the dead and wounded.

Soldiers ferried infants out of the compound, some wrapped in blood-stained blankets, and officials said 100 people were rescued, including three foreigners.

The neighbourhood is home to many members of Afghanistan’s Hazara community, a mostly Shia Muslim minority that has been attacked by Sunni militants from Islamic State in the past, including at a Kabul ceremony commemorating the death of one of its leaders in March.

Rights group Amnesty International condemned both attacks.


“The unconscionable war crimes in Afghanistan today, targeting a maternity hospital and a funeral, must awaken the world to the horrors civilians continue to face,” the group tweeted. “There must be accountability for these grave crimes.”

Countries including the United Kingdom, Germany, Turkey and Pakistan released statements condemning the violence.

Last week, security forces killed and arrested several members of an Islamic State cell that authorities said was responsible for several attacks in Kabul including one on a Sikh temple in March. A roadside blast in the capital on Monday, which wounded four civilians, was claimed by the group.

Afghanistan is also facing violence around the country from the Taliban, even as the United States tries to usher in peace talks after signing a troop withdrawal agreement in February with the militants. The Taliban say they are holding back from attacking urban centres and their operations are aimed at government security forces.

Reporting by Abdul Qadir Sediqi and Hamid Shalizi and Ahmad Sultan; additional reporting by Rupam Jain, Orooj Hakimi and Sayed Hassib; Writing by Charlotte Greenfield; Editing by Christian Schmollinger, Robert Birsel, Peter Graff and Howard Goller

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-...ck-24-killed-in-funeral-bombing-idUSKBN22O0RS
A horrible act, most likely carried out by ISIS-K. NDS/RAW have provided haven to these terrorists and now they have turned on the Afghan people.
 

Haris Ali2140

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Condemning Heinous Terrorist Attacks in Afghanistan Today


PRESS STATEMENT

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE

MAY 12, 2020


The United States condemns in the strongest terms the two horrific terrorist attacks in Afghanistan today. In an unconscionable assault, gunmen seized one of Kabul’s busiest hospitals, which housed a maternity ward run by Doctors Without Borders. In the hospital, the terrorists took the lives of at least 13 innocent people, including newborn babies, new mothers, and health care workers. Any attack on innocents is unforgivable, but to attack infants and women in labor in the sanctuary of a hospital is an act of sheer evil.

Separately, in the eastern province of Nangarhar, a suicide bomber attacked the funeral of a local police commander, leaving at least 26 people dead and more than 68 wounded. Terrorists who attack mourners lining up for prayer at a funeral are only seeking to tear apart the bonds that hold families and communities together, but they will never succeed. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families of both attacks, as well as the brave Afghan security forces who defended against the terrorists.

During the holy month of Ramadan and amidst the threat of COVID-19, these dual attacks are particularly appalling. We note the Taliban have denied any responsibility and condemned both attacks as heinous. The Taliban and the Afghan government should cooperate to bring the perpetrators to justice. As long as there is no sustained reduction in violence and insufficient progress towards a negotiated political settlement, Afghanistan will remain vulnerable to terrorism. The Afghan people deserve a future free from terror, and the ongoing peace process continues to present a critical opportunity for Afghans to come together to build a united front against the menace of terrorism.


https://www.state.gov/condemning-heinous-terrorist-attacks-in-afghanistan-today/
 

Haris Ali2140

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Afghanistan: Ghani and Abdullah sign power-sharing deal

Under the agreement, Abdullah will lead council for peace talks and members of his team will be included in the cabinet.


Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah signed a power-sharing deal to end a months-long political stalemate [File: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah signed a power-sharing deal on Sunday, signalling the end of a months-long stalemate that plunged the country into a political crisis.

The breakthrough, which sees Abdullah heading peace talks with the Taliban, comes as Afghanistan battles a rapid spread of the deadly coronavirus and surging violence that saw dozens killed in brutal attacks last week.

Images released by the presidential palace showed Abdullah and Ghani sitting side-by-side for the signing ceremony, while leading Afghan figures, including former president Hamid Karzai, looked on.

Ghani said it was a "historic day" for Afghanistan and the agreement was reached without any international mediation.

"We will share the burden and our shoulders, God willing, will be lighter," he said, addressing Abdullah at the signing ceremony broadcast on a state-run television channel.

"In the days ahead, we hope that with unity and cooperation, we would be able to first pave the ground for a ceasefire and then lasting peace."

Abdullah said the deal commits to forming a "more inclusive, accountable and competent administration".

"It's meant to ensure a path to peace, improve governance, protect rights, respect laws and values, he said on Twitter after signing the deal.

Abdullah's spokesman, Fraidoon Khawzoon told AFP news agency the agreement ensures Abdullah's group gets 50 percent of the cabinet and other provincial governors' posts.

Abdullah had previously served as Afghanistan's "chief executive" under an earlier power-sharing deal but lost that post after he was defeated in a presidential election that the incumbent Ghani won in September.

But Abdullah rejected the election results, alleging fraud. He declared himself president and held his own swearing-in ceremony on March 9, the day Ghani was reinstalled as president.


The Political Agreement between President Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah has just been signed. Dr. Abdullah will lead the National Reconciliation High Council and members of his team will be included in the cabinet. Details will be aired shortly by RTA. pic.twitter.com/VZ95m5DfJq

— Sediq Sediqqi (@SediqSediqqi) May 17, 2020

The agreement further says that Ghani will make Abdul Rashid Dostum, his former vice president turned ally of Abdullah, a marshal of the armed forces. Dostum, a notorious military commander, was accused of ordering the torture and rape of a political rival in 2016.

The agreement names Abdullah to lead future peace talks with the Taliban, which has already signed a landmark accord with the United States to pave the way for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday welcomed the power-sharing deal.

"Secretary Pompeo noted that he regretted the time lost during the political impasse," State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

"He reiterated that the priority for the United States remains a political settlement to end the conflict and welcomed the commitment by the two leaders to act immediately in support of prompt entry into intra-Afghan negotiations."

NATO, which maintains a training mission in Afghanistan, hailed the deal and urged Afghan leaders and the Taliban to work for peace.

"We call on the Taliban to live up to their commitments, reduce violence now, take part in intra-Afghan negotiations, and make real compromise for lasting peace," NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement.

Despite 18 years and billions of dollars in international aid, Afghanistan remains desperately poor. The poverty level soared from 35 percent of the population in 2012 to more than 55 percent last year.

Poverty in Afghanistan is defined as a person who survives on $1 or less a day. Successive Afghan governments, including Ghani's, have been accused by international watchdogs of widespread corruption.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020...-sign-power-sharing-deal-200517105526348.html
 

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