Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has left the country

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Re: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has left the country

Postby Edge Guerrero » Mon Aug 23, 2021 3:06 pm

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Postby Edge Guerrero » Mon Aug 23, 2021 3:55 pm

Anti-Taliban resistance group says it has thousands of fighters

An anti-Taliban resistance group in Afghanistan says it has thousands of people ready to fight.

Ali Nazary, head of foreign relations for the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRF), told the BBC they want to pursue peaceful negotiations.

But, he added, "if this fails... then we're not going to accept any sort of aggression".

Meanwhile, the Taliban say they have surrounded the group's Panjshir valley stronghold and put them under siege.

Resistance figures have also said the Taliban are now advancing in the region, northeast of the capital Kabul.

Amrullah Saleh, who was vice-president in the government ousted by the Taliban and is now based in Panjshir, tweeted that the Taliban had massed forces near the entrance to the valley.

The Panjshir region - in particular the Panjshir Valley - is famous for having successfully fought off invasions, including from Soviet forces during the Soviet-Afghan war from 1979 to 1989, and the Taliban in the 1990s

Now, the region is still under the control of the NRF, which was founded by Ahmad Massoud - the son of Afghan resistance hero Ahmad Shah Massoud

Ahmad Shah Massoud was a powerful guerrilla commander who led the resistance against the USSR, and then went on to lead the Afghan government's military wing against rival militias in the 1990s. After the Taliban gained control, he was the main opposition commander against their rule, until his assassination in 2001.

Mr Nazary told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that Panjshir had had a recent influx of local resistance forces from across the country, who have joined fighters they had already trained locally.

He said the group had "thousands of forces ready for the resistance" - although the BBC has not independently verified this claim.

"However, we prefer to pursue peace and negotiations before any sort of war and conflict," the spokesman added.

Image

The NRF's ultimate goal is a decentralised form of governance in the country.


"The NRF believes that for lasting peace we have to address the underlying problems in Afghanistan," he continued. "Afghanistan is a country made up of ethnic minorities, no one is a majority. It's a multicultural state, so it needs power sharing - a power-sharing deal where everyone sees themselves in power."

Having one group dominating politics will lead to "internal warfare and the continuation of the current conflict," he said.

"We prefer peace, we prioritise peace and negotiations," Mr Nazary added. "If this fails - if we see that the other side is not sincere, if we see that the other side is trying to force itself on the rest of the country - then we're not going to accept any sort of aggression.

"And we've proven ourselves, our track record in the past [40 years] has shown that no-one is able to conquer our region, especially the Panjshir Valley.

"The Red Army, with its might, was unable to defeat us... I don't think any force right now in Afghanistan has the might of the Red Army. And the Taliban also 25 years ago... they tried to take over the valley and they failed, they faced a crushing defeat."

Source https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-58239156
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Postby Masato » Mon Aug 23, 2021 9:02 pm

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Postby Masato » Mon Aug 23, 2021 9:07 pm


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Postby Edge Guerrero » Mon Aug 23, 2021 11:23 pm

Masato wrote:Image



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Postby Edge Guerrero » Tue Aug 24, 2021 9:51 pm

WFP calls for urgent aid as millions of Afghans face starvation

World Food Programme chief says $200m is needed to tackle food insecurity in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover

Qatar, Doha – Millions of Afghans face the risk of starvation and a “catastrophe on top of a catastrophe” the head of the United Nations’ World Food Programme has warned, saying the agency needs $200m by the end of the year to continue its operations in Afghanistan following the Taliban’s takeover.

WFP Executive Director David Beasley spoke to Al Jazeera on Tuesday while touring a compound in Doha housing more than 500 refugees who fled Afghanistan after the Taliban took control of the Afghan capital Kabul on August 15.

Beasley said 14 million people in Afghanistan – one-third of the population – are facing food insecurity. That includes two million children who are already malnourished.

“We need this funding now because the winter months are coming. We have four million people in the most difficult areas where winter just compounds the opportunity to reach them,” he said.

On top of years of conflict, Afghanistan’s food security has also been threatened by drought and the coronavirus pandemic.

Afghanistan is now facing economic collapse, with foreign countries and institutions saying they will withhold aid and money to Afghanistan after the Taliban seized control of the country.

Beasley said the WFP would start to run out of food in September without the additional funding.

WFP calls for urgent aid as millions of Afghans face starvation
World Food Programme chief says $200m is needed to tackle food insecurity in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover.


Qatar, Doha – Millions of Afghans face the risk of starvation and a “catastrophe on top of a catastrophe” the head of the United Nations’ World Food Programme has warned, saying the agency needs $200m by the end of the year to continue its operations in Afghanistan following the Taliban’s takeover.

WFP Executive Director David Beasley spoke to Al Jazeera on Tuesday while touring a compound in Doha housing more than 500 refugees who fled Afghanistan after the Taliban took control of the Afghan capital Kabul on August 15.


Beasley said 14 million people in Afghanistan – one-third of the population – are facing food insecurity. That includes two million children who are already malnourished.

“We need this funding now because the winter months are coming. We have four million people in the most difficult areas where winter just compounds the opportunity to reach them,” he said.

On top of years of conflict, Afghanistan’s food security has also been threatened by drought and the coronavirus pandemic.

Afghanistan is now facing economic collapse, with foreign countries and institutions saying they will withhold aid and money to Afghanistan after the Taliban seized control of the country.

Beasley said the WFP would start to run out of food in September without the additional funding.


He said the Taliban had provided assurances to the WFP it could continue to deliver aid to Afghanistan unimpeded. He said the chaos and violence at Kabul airport over recent days does not affect the WFP’s operations in Afghanistan as the agency brings food and aid into the country by truck.

“Whether it’s the Taliban or others, we are receiving the cooperation we need. We’ve told everyone on the ground that we need neutrality, impartiality, independence. So far everyone has given us what we need to reach the people.”

He said the group, which now controls all but one of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, has even provided protection and security around food warehouses against looters and gangs.

“So far they [the Taliban] have calibrated, cooperated and given us the access we need,” Beasley said. “I hope it continues … and I expect it to continue,” he said.


Source https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/8/24/wfp-food-aid-afghanistan-starvation-taliban
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Postby Edge Guerrero » Tue Aug 24, 2021 9:54 pm

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Postby Edge Guerrero » Thu Aug 26, 2021 11:49 pm

Thirteen US service members and at least 60 Afghans have been killed in two bombing attacks outside Kabul's airport, according to the Pentagon and Afghanistan's Ministry of Public Health.

The deadly blasts came as the United States and other Western countries raced to complete a massive evacuation of their citizens and Afghan allies following the Taliban takeover of the country.

An official with Afghanistan's Ministry of Public Health told CNN on Thursday that more than 60 Afghan people were dead and 140 wounded.
Eighteen US service members were injured in addition to the 13 dead, said Capt. Bill Urban of US Central Command (Centcom).

US President Joe Biden, speaking from the White House, called the troops "heroes" and said he was "outraged as well as heartbroken."
"We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay," he warned the perpetrators of the attack.

ISIS in Khorasan, known as ISIS-K, has claimed that an ISIS militant carried out the suicide attack, but provided no evidence to support the claim.
US officials have said the group was likely behind the attack, and Biden on Thursday announced that he had ordered US military commanders "to develop operational plans to strike ISIS-K assets, leadership and facilities."

In previous days, the President had cited the risk of a terror attack among the reasons for getting US troops out of the country by August 31. He had also promised a swift and forceful response to any disruption to the operation.

Two explosions

Thousands of Afghans have been gathering at the airport's gates in recent days in hopes of being evacuated. Footage posted to social media on Thursday after the explosions showed chaotic scenes of crowds of people trying to help the wounded amid bodies on the ground. Photos showed apparently injured people being transported away from the scene in wheelbarrows.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said earlier that one of the explosions happened "at the airport's Abbey Gate" and "at least one other explosion happened at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate."

Abbey Gate has become the main entry point to the airport and primary security there has been provided by US Marines. The area around that gate had been used for holding refugees after they passed through the Taliban check points outside the airport, and before they were allowed to go to the airport.

Baron Hotel was used by British soldiers and other allies as an evacuation handling center to process evacuees, before moving them up to the Abbey Gate. It is unclear whether international forces were still in the area when the explosion happened.

The US Embassy in Kabul said US citizens who were at the Abbey Gate, East Gate, or North Gate of the airport "should leave immediately" in the wake of the blast.

"There has been a large explosion at the airport, and there are reports of gunfire," the security alert said. "US citizens should avoid traveling to the airport and avoid airport gates at this time," it added.


Immediately after the explosions, gunmen opened fire on service members and civilians, said Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, Centcom Commander.
Hours after the attacks, coalition forces also conducted a series of scheduled and controlled explosions within Hamid Karzai International Airport, US Central Command spokesman Maj. John Rigsbee told CNN

Evacuations to continue, but winding down

Tens of thousands of people have so far been evacuated by the US military and NATO allies from the airport in the past two weeks. These evacuations are set to start winding down in the next few days, ahead of US' August 31 deadline for the final exit from a 20-year war in Afghanistan.

Over 95,700 people have been evacuated since August 14 and over 101,300 since the end of July.

McKenzie said that the evacuations will continue despite the attack. "Our mission is to evacuate US citizens, third country nationals, special immigrant visa holders, US embassy staff, and Afghans at risk. Despite this attack, we are continuing the mission, the evacuation at best speed," he said.

"But right now our focus really, we have other active threat streams, extremely active threat streams against the airfield, we want to make sure we are taking the steps to protect ourselves there. Our focus is on that," he added.

He said the threats from ISIS were "imminent," raging from rocket attacks to "vehicle-borne" suicide attacks in addition to "walk-in" suicide attackers like the attack today.
McKenzie also said the US is sharing some intel with the Taliban for security purposes.

"They don't get the full range of information we have. But we give them enough to act in time and space to try to prevent these attacks," said McKenzie. He added that the US is using attack helicopters and other manned and unmanned aircraft to defend the airport in Kabul.

Biden said he would authorize whatever military leaders need, including more troops.
"These ISIS terrorists will not win. We will rescue the Americans. We will get our Afghan allies out. And our mission will go on," the US President said. "America will not be intimidated."

Several European countries, including Belgium, the Netherlands and Poland, have said their evacuation missions would end on Thursday. Denmark's last flight left Afghanistan on Wednesday evening. And Canada's efforts have also come to an end, General Wayne Eyre, Canada's acting chief of defense staff, said in a virtual briefing Thursday.

In the wake of the blast, French President Emmanuel Macron warned the situation around the airport had seriously deteriorated. "As we speak, we have 20 buses of dual citizens and Afghans that we would like to be able to repatriate," he said. "I cannot guarantee that we will be successful because the security situation is beyond our control."

Several European countries, including Belgium, the Netherlands and Poland, have said their evacuation missions would end on Thursday. Denmark's last flight left Afghanistan on Wednesday evening. And Canada's efforts have also come to an end, General Wayne Eyre, Canada's acting chief of defense staff, said in a virtual briefing Thursday.

In the wake of the blast, French President Emmanuel Macron warned the situation around the airport had seriously deteriorated. "As we speak, we have 20 buses of dual citizens and Afghans that we would like to be able to repatriate," he said. "I cannot guarantee that we will be successful because the security situation is beyond our control."I

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK will continue its evacuation operation from Kabul despite the "barbaric" attack.

"I think [these attacks] are despicable, but I'm afraid that this is something we have had to prepare for. It isn't going to interrupt our progress, we are going to get on with our evacuation," he later added, speaking to British media in London.
The UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said 13,146 people -- including embassy staff, British nationals, those eligible under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy program and a number of nationals from partner nations -- have been evacuated from Afghanistan.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also said Thursday that those who have not yet been able to access evacuation flights from Kabul will not be forgotten, adding that the German Foreign Ministry is still in negotiations with the Taliban.
"We know that the window of opportunity is closing. Tens of thousands of people have been rescued but I want to say again today: we will not forget those people who could not be rescued by the air bridge. Rather we will do everything we can to enable their evacuation," Merkel said.

Germany is in talks with Afghanistan's neighboring countries to secure safe border crossing for further evacuations to take place, according to Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres, speaking to reporters outside the Security Council chambers, condemned the attack in "the strongest possible way" and sent his condolences to the families of the victims.

Abdullah Abdullah, the chairman of Afghanistan's Reconciliation Committee under the previous government condemned the attacks on Thursday. "I strongly condemn the terrorist attack at Kabul Airport which killed and wounded a large number of the civilians," he said in a tweet.
Early on Thursday CNN reported the Taliban has taken away security from former Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah.

CNN's Jeremy Diamond, Jim Sciutto, Michael Callahan, Tim Lister, Isil Sariyuce, Saskya Vandoorne, Joseph Ataman, Kaitlan Collins, Saskya Vandoorne, Sophia Saifi, Michael Conte, Nada Bashir, Jason Hoffman and Lauren Moorhouse contributed to this report

.https://edition.cnn.com/2021/08/26/asia/afghanistan-kabul-airport-blast-intl/index.html
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Postby Masato » Fri Aug 27, 2021 4:48 pm

Why does this Taliban guy sound like he's from Australia/NZ/South Africa etc?

Seriously, is that what an Afghan accent sounds like? Or where is this guy really from?

Keep listening, his accent slips up the more he talks;


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Postby Canuckster » Fri Aug 27, 2021 5:36 pm

We have an afghani in our club, this guy sounds south African to me
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