News Updates

24th November - 07 December
  • Afghan peace push backed by surge in air strikes, operations: As U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad makes a fresh round of visits to Afghanistan and neighboring countries this week and resumes meetings with Taliban representatives, military operations have spiked sharply across the country. The aim, say Afghan and U.S. officials, is to build as strong a position as possible for the hoped-for start of peace talks with the Taliban. Khalilzad told U.S. broadcaster PBS last week that he was “in a hurry” to secure an agreement with the Taliban, ideally ahead of presidential elections scheduled for April 20. (Reuters, 6 Dec, 2018)
  • Senior Taliban commander killed by US airstrike in Afghanistan, officials say. (2 Dec, 2018 Guardian)
  • At least 30 Afghan civilians killed in US air strike in Helmand province. (Guardian, 28 Nov, 2018)
14th November - 22nd November
  • At Least 55 Killed in Bombing of Afghan Religious Gathering. (New York Times. 20.11.2018)
  • The U.S. Army Is Trying to Develop New Land Mines — Ones That Don’t Harm Civilians. (13.11.2018- New York Times)
  • Taliban holds talks with US envoy in Qatar.
  • US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad held three days of talks with Taliban officials in efforts to end US' longest war. (New York Times- Aljazeera)
  • Trump hints could make first visit to Afghanistan: Delivering a Thanksgiving holiday message by teleconference to troops in Afghanistan, Trump told a U.S. Air Force general he would see him back in the United States, before adding: “Or maybe I’ll even see you over there. You never know what’s going to happen.” (22.11.2018- Reuters)
1st November - 13th November
  • Taliban Slaughter Elite Afghan Troops, and a ‘Safe’ District Is Falling
    Afghanistan — One pickup truck after another arrived at the government compound in a district capital in Afghanistan on Sunday, pulling around to the back of the governor’s office to unload the dead, out of sight of panicked residents. Soldiers and police officers, many in tears, heaved bodies of their comrades from the trucks and laid them on sheets on the ground, side by side on their backs, until there were 20 of them. The dead all wore the desert-brown boots of Afghanistan’s finest troops, the Special Forces commandos trained by the United States. Four days earlier, the soldiers had been airlifted in to rescue what is widely considered Afghanistan’s safest rural district, Jaghori, from a determined assault by Taliban insurgents. (New York Times 12.11.2018)
  • Kabul: Suicide bomber targets protesters demanding security
    At least six people have been killed and 20 others wounded after a suicide bomber hit a protest site in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, officials said. The blast on Monday took place close to the city's Pashtunistan Square, where hundreds of people had been protesting over insecurity in the country. Nasrat Rahimi, deputy spokesman for the interior ministry, said, "The suicide attacker on foot wanted to target protesters, but he was stopped at a security checkpoint some 200 metres from the site." "There have been casualties and I can say most of them are security forces." Twenty people were wounded in the blast, which struck in front of a high school in downtown Kabul, according to Najib Danish, an interior ministry spokesman. (Al Jazeera: 13.11.2018)
  • India to be in talks with Taliban in Russia at ‘non-official’ level
    India said it will participate, at a “non-official level”, in the meeting being hosted by Russia on Afghanistan where representatives of the Taliban will be present. In response to queries regarding India’s participation in the meeting, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “We are aware that the Russian Federation is hosting a meeting in Moscow on 9 November on Afghanistan.” “Our participation at the meeting will be at the non-official level,” he said. (Hindustan Times, 9.11.2018)