A law meant to protect Afghan women from violence is being undermined by authorities who routinely refer even serious criminal cases to traditional mediation councils that fail to protect victims, the United Nations said on Tuesday.
On April 22, an ISIS terrorist at a voter-registration office in Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul blew himself up, killing at least 60 innocent people and wounding an additional 100. The following day, the United States condemned the suicide bombing, while repeating America’s policy of counterinsurgency and nation-building in Afghanistan.
“This attack on this polling station reaffirms our commitment to our Afghan partners and reaffirms on why we have to focus on rooting out violent extremism,” Pentagon spokesman US Army Col. Robert Manning said. “When citizens can’t go and register and exercise their democratic right to vote, that’s a problem. They certainly deserve it, and that’s why we are going to stay there to make sure we can work with our Afghan partners to afford them that right.”
When Mohammad Shah realized his family would never be able to afford the $15,000 demanded by his fiancee’s father for a traditional Afghan wedding, he turned to the one group he knew would help: the Islamic State.
The 23-year-old left his village in the northern province of Jowzjan about four months ago to join the militant group, which has seen a recent influx of foreign fighters bolster its presence in Afghanistan. Soon afterward, Shah and other Islamic State fighters stormed his fiancée’s house and kidnapped her at gunpoint. They later married in a ceremony at a mosque.
When the Revolutionary Guard offered Mahdi a choice — fight in Syria or be shipped to the border with Afghanistan, rife with Taliban fighters — it seemed a no-brainer: It was 2014 and Mahdi, a teenager who’d never finished school and had fled from Kabul to Iran hoping to find a better life, had never heard of Syria, let alone of the brutal war that had been raging there for over three years.
“I was afraid to die and so I chose Syria”, he told DW. Returning to war-torn Afghanistan wasn’t an option. And, he added, the money was almost too good to be true: $700 (€585) a month, a fortune for Mahdi who was working as a tailor in an Iranian factory and who was picked up by the Iranian police in a crackdown on undocumented Afghan migrants.
At least 25 people have died in a coordinated double suicide bombing that hit central Kabul on Monday morning.
Six journalists, including a camera operator for a local TV station and an Agence France-Presse photographer, were among those killed after the second bomber blew himself up among the rescue workers and reporters who had rushed to the scene of the first blast.
At least 45 people were wounded in the attacks, the police spokesman Hashmat Stanekzai said. Four police officers were among those killed. The first suicide bomber was on a motorbike, he added.
KABUL — At least 48 Afghans waiting at an entrance of the office for voters’ registration were killed Sunday in the capital of Kabul, the Afghan Health Ministry said. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State and was a possible sign of bloody times ahead for long-delayed crucial elections set for Oct. 20.
Scores of other people were wounded in the strike, which happened in the Shiite-dominated Dashte Barchi area of the city where the militant network has unleashed a series of deadly attacks in recent months.
Islamic State militants executed a 12-year-old boy on charges of helping local police in northern Afghanistan, according to a senior Afghan government official who spoke to VOA.
The boy was accused of supplying food and water to an Afghan local police check post in northern Jawzjan province.
“The kid was apparently helping his brother-in-law, who is a member of (the) Afghan local police, fighting against militants in Kota-e-Osti district,” Lutfullah Azizi, Jawzjan province governor, told VOA. “It is not the first time that IS militants are committing atrocities against civilians. They have previously killed women in summary executions.”
KABUL — The U.S. military said Monday that it has killed the senior leader of an Islamic State enclave in northern Afghanistan, highlighting an evolving fight that expanded more than a year ago after the militant left the Taliban in a dispute.
Qari Hikmatullah and his bodyguard were killed while walking in the Bal Chiragh district of Faryab province on Thursday, said Army Col. Lisa Garcia, a U.S. military spokeswoman. News of the strike began circulating in Afghan media and among local officials on Saturday, with some Afghan officials pinpointing its location a short distance over a provincial border in the Darzab district of Jowzjan province, about 275 miles northwest of Kabul.
WASHINGTON — Once described as an ill-equipped band of insurgents, the Taliban are increasingly attacking security forces across Afghanistan using night-vision goggles and lasers that United States military officials said were either stolen from Afghan and international troops or bought on the black market.
The devices allow the Taliban to maneuver on forces under the cover of darkness as they track the whirling blades of coalition helicopters, the infrared lasers on American rifles, or even the bedtime movements of local police officers.
The Afhgan government is a corrupt mess and won’t last without an American military presence, unless the US decides to formally colonize this failed state (bad idea) they should pull out.
Heroin production, arms smuggling, kidnappings; the Taliban funds its ongoing war in Afghanistan with a wide range of illegal activities, putting its war-footing fund-raising ahead of any moral, or indeed religious, concerns.
A less obvious, but still lucrative, source of revenue has been brought to light by the Institute For War & Peace Reporting (IWPR): pistachio farming.