Afghan forces kill 31 Taliban amid flared-up fighting

             By Shadi Khan Saif</p>    <p>KABUL, Afghanistan (AA) - Afghan security forces on Tuesday claimed to have killed 31 Taliban militants in different operations a day after the rebels killed and captured almost an entire company of the army.</p>    <p>Amid stalled peace process, violence has flare-up evidently across the country with both sides fighting fiercely for turf.</p>    <p>The Defense Ministry said in a statement that the land forces carried out 76 operations in different parts of the country while the air forces conducted 78 flights in the past 24 hours.</p>    <p>The operations were conducted in the Kunar, Khost, Oruzgan, Badghis, Balkh and Helmand provinces, and left 31 Taliban militants dead, 19 others wounded.</p>    <p>This comes just a day after the Taliban killed, wounded and took hostage of an entire Afghan National Army company of some 50 soldiers in the war-ravaged country.</p>    <p>Abdul Aziz Baik, chairman for the Badghes provincial assembly, told Anadolu Agency that the Taliban stormed the Afghan National Army check posts in the Ludinha area of the Badghes province bordering Turkmenistan in the wee hours on Monday.</p>    <p>He said 20 soldiers were killed, ten others injured and 20 more were taken away as captives by the rebels.</p>    <p>The Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed has asserted that a total of 57 soldiers have been killed, 12 wounded and eight more taken into custody in different provinces.</p>    <p>It came in the backdrop of an ongoing marathon talks between the U.S. and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar over the proposed peace process in Afghanistan.

Afghans protest civilian casualties in security raids

             By Shadi Khan Saif</p>  <p>KABUL, Afghanistan (AA) – Hundreds of Afghans protested in the restive Helmand province on Sunday against deadly security offensives here which have claimed multiple civilian casualties.</p>  <p>The protests followed security raids over the past two months on suspected Taliban hideouts in Helmand’s Taliban-controlled Sangin district which killed at least 30 civilians and wounded many, including women and children. </p>  <p>“This situation is no longer acceptable to us, and we are telling honorable President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and NDS [secret service] head Masoum Stanikzai to put an end to these raids,” Attaullah Afghan, chairman of the provincial council, told fellow protesters.</p>  <p>There has been an evident surge in aerial operations and night raids since the hawkish Assadullah Khalid, former NDS chief, took charge of the Defense Ministry last month. Khalid has vowed to take the fight to the Taliban bastions in a bid to “eliminate” those rebels not wanting peace.</p>  <p>On Sunday, the provincial administration in Helmand acknowledged in a statement that four civilians were killed in a security operation in Sangin on Saturday.</p>  <p>Meanwhile, the Civilian Protection Group, a local civil society group, has urged the international community to link its aid to Afghanistan with reducing civilian casualties, local Pajhwok news reported.</p>  <p>The Taliban have posted pictures of dead civilians of Sangin, including children, on their social media pages, accusing the government and U.S. forces of committing war crimes.</p>  <p>The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan announced on Jan. 25 that it has received credible reports of civilian casualties, including children, from aerial operations in the Sangin district.

Afganistan'da bir polis 8 meslektaşını öldürdü

KABİL (AA) – Afganistan'ın güneyindeki Helmand vilayetinde Taliban örgütü ile bağlantısı olduğu sanılan polisin, 8 meslektaşını öldürüp kaçtığı bildirildi.

Helmand İl Şura Başkanı Ataullah Afgan, gazetecilere yaptığı açıklamada, Helmand'ın merkezi Laşkergah şehrindeki karakolda görev yapan bir polisin, 8 meslektaşını silahla vurarak öldürdüğünü belirtti.

Polisin meslektaşlarını öldürdükten sonra karakoldaki silahları alarak kaçtığını ifade eden Afgan, olayla ilgili soruşturma başlatıldığını söyledi.

Taliban'dan yapılan açıklamada ise kendileriyle bağlantılı olan 3 polisin, 9 meslektaşını öldürdüğü iddia edildi.

ABD'nin Afganistan saldırılarındaki sivil kayıpları soruşturması

WASHINGTON (AA) – ABD'nin, Afganistan'ın Helmand iline bağlı Sangin ilçesinde Afgan kuvvetlerine destek amaçlı düzenlediği ve çok sayıda sivilin hayatını kaybettiği iddia edilen hava saldırıları, NATO öncülüğündeki Kararlı Destek Operasyon Karargahı tarafından incelemeye alındı.

Konuyla ilgili AA muhabirine açıklama yapan Kararlı Destek Operasyonu Sözcüsü Üsteğmen Ubon Mendie, "Afganların öncülüğünde Helmand'ın Sangin ilçesine yönelik operasyona ABD askeri danışmanları ve koalisyon hava saldırılarıyla destek verildi." ifadesini kullandı.

Operasyonda, Taliban'a ait olduğu iddia edilen el yapımı 23 patlayıcının imha edildiğini ve Taliban mensuplarıyla çatışmaların sürdüğünü belirten Mendie, sivil kayıp iddialarına konu olan hava saldırılarını incelediklerini açıkladı.

Saldırılarla ilgili haberlerde, 16 kişilik bir ailenin tüm fertlerinin öldüğü, onlarca kişinin de yaralandığı bildirilmişti.

Afganistan'ın Eski Cumhurbaşkanı Hamid Karzai de söz konusu saldırıları kınamış ve ABD'ye, Afgan köylerini bombalamaktan ziyade çabalarını, barışa sarf etmesi çağrısında bulunmuştu.

Airstrike kills scores of Afghan civilians

            By Shadi Khan Saif</p>  <p>  <p>KABUL, Afghanistan (AA) - At least 16 members of a single family have been killed in an airstrike by U.S. forces in Afghanistan's restive Helmand province, officials and local media confirmed late Thursday.</p>  <p>  <p>Helmand Governor Mohammad Yasin Khan has condemned the strike and has called for an investigation.</p>  <p>  <p>Meanwhile, the local Khama Press has reported that Mawlawi Madad, a Taliban improvised explosive device (IED) operations commander in the Helmand region, where many of these roadside bombs have killed innocent women and children, has been killed in an aerial operation by coalition forces in Sangin district.</p>  <p>  <p>The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan announced that it is following up on credible reports of civilian casualties, including children, from the aerial operation.</p>  <p>  <p>Former President Hamid Karzai has vehemently condemned the airstrikes in Sangin.</p>  <p>  <p>“The former president, once again, calls upon the U.S. to intensify its efforts for peace rather than bombing Afghan homes,” Karzai's office said in a statement.

Afghanistan: U.S. drone kills Taliban commander

By Shadi Khan Saif

KABUL, Afghanistan (AA) – A U.S. drone strike has killed a top Taliban commander in southern Afghanistan, officials confirmed on Sunday.

Mohammad Yasin, governor of restive southern Helmand province, told Anadolu Agency that Mullah Abdul Manan was targeted along with his guards in the Nauzaad district late on Saturday.

He added the notorious Taliban commander involved in nationwide terrorist attacks succumbed to his wounds on Sunday.

According to the local Khama Press, Mullah Abdulu Rahim alias Mullah Abdul Manan — who was the group’s shadow governor for Helmand — was killed with his four comrades and two of his security guards.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed confirmed his death.

Afghan president offers year of ceasefire to Taliban

By Shadi Khan Saif

KABUL, Afghanistan (AA) – President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani told the participants of a historic peace march on Tuesday the government is willing to extend the cease-fire with the Taliban for a year, if they agree on talks.

Activists who joined the peace march reached Kabul late on Sunday after covering a distance of some 700 kilometers (435 miles) on foot from restive Helmand province to the capital in over a month urging the warring sides to end the bloodshed.

Welcoming the marchers, the president warmly embraced each of the war-weary marchers — most of whom are peasants — and thanked them for raising the peoples’ voice in their landmark peaceful struggle.

“I am ready to sit with them [Taliban leadership] in the desert, in the mountains, in the mosque…wherever they want."

He directly addressed the Taliban leader as ‘Mawlawi’ [religious scholar] Hibatullah Akhundzada while inviting the rebel leader to come and meet him.

Ghani said the government can extend the cease-fire for a year.

Sunday was the third and last day of truce by the Taliban and the sixth day of the cease-fire by the government after which the militants resumed their offensives.

Afganistan'da bombalı saldırı

KABİL (AA) – Afganistan'ın güneyindeki Helmand vilayetinin Nad Ali ilçesinde bomba yüklü araçla düzenlenen intihar saldırısında 2'si asker 6 kişi öldü.

Helmand Valiliği Sözcüsü Ömer Zuvak, intihar saldırganının bomba yüklü araçla ilçedeki askeri birliği hedef aldığını belirtti.

Zuvak, saldırıda 2 asker ile 4 sivilin hayatını kaybettiğini, 5'i sivil 8 kişinin yaralandığını söyledi.

Saldırıyı Taliban örgütü üstlendi.

Turkey condemns terrorist attack in Afghanistan

By Ercan Canbolat

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey has condemned the terrorist attacks in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan that left 15 people dead.

“We learned with great sorrow that a terrorist attack in Lashkargah city of Helmand Province, Afghanistan, near a stadium, resulted in loss of lives of many Afghan brothers and sisters and left many others wounded,” the country’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“We condemn this heinous terrorist attack. We wish Allah’s mercy upon those who lost their lives, speedy recovery to the wounded, and convey our condolences to the friendly Government and the brotherly people of Afghanistan,” the statement added.

The car bombing in Lashkargah city had killed at least 15 people and injured 40 others on Friday.

Afganistan'da bomba yüklü araçla saldırı

KABİL (AA) – Afganistan'ın güneyindeki Helmand vilayetinde bomba yüklü araçla düzenlenen saldırıda ilk belirlemelere göre 15 kişi öldü.

Helmand Valiliği sözcüsü Ömer Zuvak, intihar saldırganının, vilayet merkezindeki stadyum yakınında bomba yüklü aracı patlattığını belirtti.

Zuvak, ilk belirlemelere göre saldırıda 15 kişinin yaşamını yitirdiğini, 40 kişinin yaralandığını söyledi.

Zuvak, saldırganın, şehir stadyumunda düzenlenen güreş müsabakasının bitiminde alanı terk eden kalabalığı hedef aldığını kaydetti.

Saldırıyı henüz üstlenen olmazken ölü sayısının artmasından endişe ediliyor.