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Kabul attack ‘beginning of spring offensive’: Taliban

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30 Afghan security forces killed in Taliban attacks

KABUL: Afghan Taliban on Saturday claimed responsibility for an attack in eastern Afghanistan that the group said was part of its newly announced spring offensive.

According to Afghan officials, Taliban fighters on Friday night detonated two truck bombs in the Shirzad district of Nangarhar province, east of Kabul.

The assault came hours after the Taliban announced the start of Operation Fath, the name the militants have given to this year’s spring offensive.

“Both sides have sustained casualties,” the Afghan defence ministry said.

“Clashes are ongoing between (Afghan security forces) and Taliban terrorists.”

The Taliban, who frequently exaggerate numbers, claimed to have killed or wounded “more than 200 soldiers, police and militias”.

Nangarhar provincial governor spokesman Ataullah Khogyani said two Afghan troops had been killed, along with 27 Taliban fighters.

Another Taliban attack was reported around the edges of the northern city of Kunduz, which the militants briefly captured in 2015.

Naeem Mangal, head of the Kunduz regional hospital, said at least eight people were killed and 62 wounded.

In Ghor province in the west, at least seven Afghan security forces were killed in a Taliban ambush, Ghor provincial governor spokesman Abdul Hai Khatibi said.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s palace on Saturday condemned “in the strongest words” the announcement of Operation Fath.

“The continuation of war is no one’s interest,” the palace said.

The spring offensive traditionally marks the start of the so-called fighting season, though in reality fighting in recent winters has continued unabated.

The United States is leading a push to forge a settlement with the Taliban, after nearly 18 years of war, and has held several meetings with Taliban officials.

Later this month, Taliban officials are expected to meet with Afghanistan representatives, including some officials from the Kabul government, in the Qatari capital Doha.

 

 

 

 

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Asia

Sri Lanka Easter Massacre toll rises to 310

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COLOMBO: Police spokesman here told NPTV that Easter bombings death toll has risen to 310, while five hundred got injured. 

President of Sri Lanka has given army war-time powers enabling them to arrest suspects.  It is pertinent to mention here that the forces used such authority throughout the 26-year-long civil war that ended in 2009.

It is pertinent to mention here that despite the arrest of forty suspects (including the driver of a van allegedly used by suicide bombers), an IED was found inside a vehicle near St. Anthony’s Church, here at Jampettah Road, Kochchikade yesterday (Monday 22nd April). It was disposed of by BDU via controlled explosion. 

A relevant piece published earlier:

SriLanka: 8 suicide bombings killed 210, injured 450

 

 

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Sri Lanka bomb attack victims: Pak NA observes 1-minute silence

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National Assembly session commences

ISLAMABAD: The members of National Assembly on Monday during the session at the Parliament House observed one-minute silence in memory of the citizens of Sri Lanka who lost their lives in bomb attacks.
The house also offered fateha for the departed souls of those who were martyred in two separate attacks in different parts of Balochistan recently.
Later, Speaker National Assembly announced a six-member panel of chairpersons for conducting the proceedings of the house in the absence of Speaker and Deputy Speaker.
The Speaker named MNAs Tahir Sadiq, Jaffer Khan Leghari, Khurram Dastgir, Attaullah, Naveed Qamar and Asad Mehmood as members of the panel who would chair the proceedings of the House when the Speaker and Deputy Speaker would not be present in the house.
The Speaker announced the members for the panel according to section 13(1) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of National Assembly 2007.

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Sri Lanka Govt.. declares state of emergency

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Sri Lanka parties file court challenge

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan authorities have ordered a state of emergency to be introduced from midnight Monday following the deadly Easter attacks, the president’s office said.
The special measures are being brought in “to allow the police and the three forces to ensure public security,” the statement said, referring to the army, navy and air force.

 

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