Tuesday, 28 September, 2021

At least 11 killed, including children, by landmine in Afghanistan

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi speaks during an interview with Reuters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Roadside bomb kills 11 people in northern Afghanistan
Cecil Davis | 08 June, 2021, 13:20

Monday's Taliban pledge comes as thousands of Afghans employed, mostly as interpreters, by the United States and allied countries during their nearly two-decade long stay in the country fear insurgent retaliation and are eager to get visas to the U.S.

The top USA diplomat responded to Representative Michael McCaul of Texas, the committee's top Republican, who said "these people will have a bulls-eye or target on their back from the moment we leave the country" and that if they are abandoned "we are effectively signing their death warrants".

The Taliban on Monday called on Afghans who worked as interpreters or in other jobs for US -led forces to show "remorse" for their actions but said they were not in danger now that American troops are leaving the country. "They were only regarded as our enemies when they were at the front line beside our enemies in the front line of war", said the Taliban statement. The final phase of ending USA military involvement in Afghanistan began May 1, 2021.

Ghazni is strategically located on the main road from Kabul to Kandahar, the former bastion of the Taliban in the south. While Afghans were viewed as foes when they worked with foreign forces, they will not face any issues "when they abandon enemy ranks", they added.

"Afghans can make their own assessments of the good faith of the Taliban's press statements; the Biden administration and Congress must work to provide every possible avenue to safety for vulnerable Afghans as the US withdraws", Bates said in an email to NBC News.

However, it added, if the Afghans in question are using retribution "as an excuse to bolster their fake asylum case then that is their own problem" and not that of the Taliban.

But amid growing calls in Washington for an evacuation of the thousands of Afghans who served alongside US troops and diplomats, the Taliban issued an unusual statement.

Girl Pushes Bear Over Fence
On TikTok , it was confirmed that all the dogs were "a little scratched" but doing okay and the bear with its cubs too were safe. The courageous teenager recorded a follow-up video, in which she explains what happened. "She's a baby", Morinico said.

There are about 18,000 Afghans who are trying to obtain an American visa under a program set up in 2009 by Congress for former employees of the US government in Afghanistan. Last week the Taliban also tried to calm foreign embassies after the Australian mission shut down in Kabul.

The insurgents, who control or hotly contest more than half of Afghan territory, have captured at least 12 districts since the global forces began withdrawing from Afghanistan on May 1.

Both sides have accused the other of provoking and failing to halt attacks against civilians.

Also on Sunday, Kabul police spokesman Ferdaws Faramarz said a roadside bomb explosion in eastern Kabul had targeted a civilian vehicle, wounding three people.

It occurred hours before senior Taliban leaders and United Nations officials met in Qatar on Saturday to discuss the Afghan peace process, security for diplomats and people working for humanitarian agencies in Afghanistan.

Other U.S. officials, notably including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, have said the U.S. will continue its "enduring and ongoing commitment to Afghanistan" and support its security forces, implying that evacuation for former translators and staffers might not be necessary.

In May, the Afghan Taliban warned its neighbors against allowing the United States military to operate bases on their soil.