TOLOnews.com RSS Feed http://tolonews.com/ Thu, 30 Jul 2015 18:08:54 GMT FeedCreator 1.8.0-dev (info@mypapit.net) Gen. Campbell Meets Sayyaf Over Afghanistan's Situation http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20680-gen-campbell-meets-sayyaf-over-afghanistans-situation sayyaf 30julay

The Resolute Support Mission (RSM) commander, General John Campbell, has reportedly met with a former Jihadi commander, Abdul Rab Rassoul Sayyaf, over the security situation of Afghanistan.

Gen. Campbell is seen meeting with Sayyaf in pictures posted on a Facebook page attributed to Sayyaf, the former warlord.

In addition, a source - who attended the meeting - told TOLOnews on condition of anonymity that Gen. Campbell asked Sayyaf at the meeting to increase his cooperation with the National Unity Government (NUG).

According to the source, the foreign troops' commander believes Afghanistan's current situation is unsatisfactory; therefore, he wants influential figures to cooperate with the NUG – which took power last year in September.

Sources close to Sayyaf confirmed the meeting. But RSM has not yet commented in this respect.

Meanwhile, reports stated that former President Hamid Karzai – who was recently accused of trying to derail the government – also met with Sayyaf during Eid Days.

Sayyaf was a former Jihadi commander who was well known for fighting the Soviet troops in Afghanistan.

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Thu, 30 Jul 2015 15:33:07 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20680-gen-campbell-meets-sayyaf-over-afghanistans-situation
TOLOnews 6pm News 30 July 2015 http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/20679-tolonews-6pm-news-30-july-2015 nataq-30-julyTop news in this Bulletin:

Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday afternoon that the much-awaited second round of peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban has been postponed. The talks were due to take place tomorrow, Friday. In a statement issued by the ministry, Pakistan said: "In view of the reports regarding the death of Mulla Omar and the resulting uncertainty, and at the request of the Afghan Taliban leadership, the second round of the Afghan peace talks, which was scheduled to be held in Pakistan on 31 July 2015, is being postponed."

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

{youtube}dvPLQX4hVA8{/youtube}

The Ministry of Defense's Operations Director General Afzal Aman said on Thursday that due to the dedication of the ministry and troops they have prevented the collapse of 41 districts in Afghanistan in the past four months. Aman, who had been speaking at a press conference in Kabul, said that Taliban insurgents had shown themselves in all parts of the country in the past few months but that they had faced defeat.

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Thu, 30 Jul 2015 15:07:04 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/20679-tolonews-6pm-news-30-july-2015
Questions Raised Over Taliban's Future http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20678-questions-raised-over-talibans-future mola 30july

The confirmation of the death of the Taliban's supreme leader Mullah Omar has raised numerous questions on the future of the group – especially on the back of media reports that his former right-hand man Mullah Akhtar Mansoor has been appointed successor.

On Wednesday, Afghan officials confirmed that Mullah Omar died two years ago in a Karachi hospital. However, some Afghan political commentators on Thursday said that Omar was designated as supreme leader by a grand council of religious scholars in Kandahar province in the early 1990s. But according to them there is no such council in Pakistan authorized to appoint Omar's successor.

Analysts also however stress that the demise of Omar can undermine the legitimacy of the Taliban war in Afghanistan among the group's members.

"When Mullah Omar was dominating in some parts of Afghanistan, he called a grand council of religious scholars from across Afghanistan where he was awarded the title of supreme leader in Kandahar province. But now such a platform doesn't exist in Pakistan, with this, the credibility and legitimacy of the so-called Islamic Emirate of Taliban is lost and this can divide the Taliban into various groups," military expert Jawed Kohistani said.

"The answer to the question on whether division among the Taliban would be in the interests of Afghanistan - or not - depends on the strategy of Pakistan in this respect. It means that the death of Mullah Mohammad Omar marks the death of the Pakistani strategy to continue using militancy as a tool," said Davud Muradian, head of Institute of Strategic Studies of Afghanistan on Thursday.

Some analysts however believe that the emergence of some new militant groups such as Daesh and the death of Mullah Omar can pave the way for some Taliban factions to be separated from the Quetta Council.

"The new generation of militants will end their allegiance with Taliban's traditional leaders. They will prefer to continue the war and get some achievements," political analyst Mohammad Natiqi said.

Analysts say that even before the death of Mullah Omar, disagreements were reported among various Taliban commanders who questioned Mullah Omar's silence. Analysts said that the issue has also raised concerns over the serious tensions between Mullah Akhtar Mansoor and Mullah Abdul Qayoum, another senior Taliban commander.

In recent weeks, rumors have however circulated that one of Omar's sons could succeed him.

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Thu, 30 Jul 2015 14:41:22 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20678-questions-raised-over-talibans-future
Kabulis Shocked By Gas Price Hike http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20677-kabulis-shocked-by-gas-price-hike gas 30july

Kabul residents were frustrated by a surprise hike in liquid gas prices around the capital on Thursday. The new rate, which represents an increase of 20 Afs per Kg of gasoline, is thought to be beyond the means of average Kabulis.

Responding to the price hike, officials from the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI) have attempted to downplay its significance, saying the jump has precedent. The ministry has attributed the sudden price increase to broader trends in Afghanistan's gas market, which they say has seen decreased imports as of late.

According to Kabul residents, however, this is the first time that LPG prices have increased so drastically during the summer season. During winter months, price hikes are expected because of the higher demand in the market as well as the practical difficulties of transporting gas supplies through the country's many snow covered mountain passes. But that is not usually the case during warmer months.

"A few days back prices were around 33 Afs, but today we buy it at 50 Afs," one resident of the capital named Abdrul Rahmad said on Thursday. "We request the traders to consider the problems of the people," he added.
Some have been quick to blame the government for the price hike, suggesting it is tied to inadequate oversight and consumer protections.

Nevertheless, MoCI officials have said that the ministry is working to control the prices and curb the potential of future hikes. "Until now, the prices haven't reached a level to claim that there have been abuses," ministry spokesman Musafir Qoqandi told TOLOnews. "If there is abuse, legal action will be taken against anyone involved."

Experts have speculated that the broader market trend in Afghanistan could stem from the declining value of LPG in global markets. Reportedly many Afghan businessmen have financial loses tied to the shifting LPG market, and have resorted to practices that are potentially detrimental for the broader consumer market in order to recuperate.

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Thu, 30 Jul 2015 14:39:52 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20677-kabulis-shocked-by-gas-price-hike
ERC Meets With Experts, Stakeholders For Guidance on Reform http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20676-erc-meets-with-experts-stakeholders-for-guidance-on-reform ELECTION 30JULY

The newly established Electoral Reform Commission (ERC) kicked off its reform agenda this week by engaging members of the international community, women rights advocacy groups and other civil society institutions in hopes of culling feedback on the most pressing issues facing Afghanistan's electoral system.

Since its formation last week, the ERC has hit the ground running, seeking to make up for time lost after months of delays caused by disagreements between top national unity governmental leaders over the composition of the commission. The scheduling of Parliamentary elections is largely dependent on how and when the ERC gets reform implemented.

"The commission (ERC) is determined to take advantage of all ideas and perspectives that seem to be in the interests of Afghanistan," ERC chairman Shah Sultan Akifi said of the stakeholder meetings held this week.

Referring to the international election experts engaged by the ERC, Akifi said they have been asked to submit written recommendations. "To be honest, we need their ideas, and we do not believe that the ideas offered by foreign experts is interference - we believe that it is for the betterment of Afghanistan," he said.

Specifically, the ERC has said it hopes international experts, many of who are associated with organizations and governments that have threatened to cut off their funding of the Afghan electoral system if reforms are not pursued, will shed light on how Afghanistan can learn from other electoral regimes around the world, especially regarding electronic voting systems.

"What we expect from international experts is help understanding, in line with the electoral experiences of other countries around the world, which method is more reliable and practical in Afghanistan," ERC member Assadullah Saadati explained on Thursday. "We want them to provide us the necessary suggestions and hear their opinion on how it is possible for the ERC to incorporate electronic voting in Afghanistan to its work agenda in the long term," he added.

Thursday's meetings included a gathering with members of Afghan civil society and women's rights groups. The meeting involved discussion of a number of issues, such as providing greater awareness about the voting process to Afghan women, increasing women's participation in elections, and preventing the intimidation and defrauding of female votes.

"Electronic voting should be introduced for parliamentary elections to avoid the misuse of women's votes and to prevent riggers from filling the ballot boxes with names of women voters," civil society activist Suraya Parlika suggested.

Beyond procedural and technology-based reforms, those gathered on Thursday also pushed for personnel changes at the level of the electoral commissions, which have suffered major public image issues since the tumultuous 2014 presidential race. "We never supported members of the election commission being associated with a party," MP Raihana Azad said. "Sovereign and neutral people must be appointed to the election management bodies."

Talking about the various stakeholder meetings that have been held this week, ERC member Faizulah Zaki reiterated that the commission's top priority in the near term is starting to rebuild public trust in elections. "A variety of ideas were gathered, but the important issue is to see how we can rebuild trust among the people of Afghanistan toward elections, and, by implementing comprehensive and basic reforms, pave the way for holding free and transparent elections in order to resolve the uncertainties," he said.

The ERC plans to complete its consultations by the end of the week. It has set a deadline of one month for submitting its first round of recommendations to the government.

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Thu, 30 Jul 2015 14:38:52 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20676-erc-meets-with-experts-stakeholders-for-guidance-on-reform
TOLOnews.com Recognized for Its Facebook Page Popularity http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20675-tolonewscom-recognized-for-its-facebook-page-popularity NAI-30-july-15

TOLOnews.com's Facebook page was on Thursday recognized as Afghanistan's leading social media service – as it has the highest number of followers of any Afghan page.

NAI – a non-government agency supporting open media in Afghanistan – honored TOLOnews.com with a certificate of appreciation to mark its recent milestone in reaching one million "Likes" earlier this year.

One of TOLOnews' web editors, Faridullah Hussainkhail, was presented with the certificate on behalf of the department during an event to mark Social Media Week – which was held under the theme - "Difference of opinions in social media does not meant enmity".

The purpose of observing the event was in acknowledgment of social media and the promoting of the culture of using social networks in a good manner, said NAI officials.

"Social media must be introduced to the people of Afghanistan and we must make a specific culture in this regard," NAI director Mujeeb Khelwatgar said.

This came only days after the officials at the Ministry of Information and Culture (MoIC) announced plans to include a new chapter on social media in the mass media law.

NAI officials however said all media outlets would be consulted on including social media into media law.

"Today more than one million one hundred thousand people have liked TOLOnews' Facebook page, which is awesome, not only in Afghanistan but in the region," Khelwatgar added.

Social media has been observed since 2011 to promote the proper use of fast-growing social networks.

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Thu, 30 Jul 2015 14:37:29 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20675-tolonewscom-recognized-for-its-facebook-page-popularity
MoD Prevents Collapse of 41 Districts in Past Four Months http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20674-mod-prevents-collapse-of-41-districts-in-past-four-months

The Ministry of Defense's Operations Director General Afzal Aman said on Thursday that due to the dedication of the ministry and troops they have prevented the collapse of 41 districts in Afghanistan in the past four months.

Aman, who had been speaking at a press conference in Kabul, said that Taliban insurgents had shown themselves in all parts of the country in the past few months but that they had faced defeat.

The director general said that the collapse of many districts to the Taliban was a tactical retreat and that military advancement, clear operations and other issues are what's important.

Aman said that only district governor buildings in Dasht-e-Arche district of Kunduz, Almar in Faryab, Kohistanat in Sare-Pul and Nawzad in Helmand provinces collapsed to the Taliban. However, this did not mean the entire district collapsed to the Taliban.

He also spoke of planned programs for the next year regarding armed opposition groups and he emphasized that the ANA forces have conducted offensive operations against the insurgents and even foiled insurgent plans for the construction of military facilities in a number of provinces.

During the past four months operations by Afghan forces across the country has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of insurgents. In addition, over 700 were captured by government forces.

"During the past four months the ANA forces - with the cooperation of people - have rebuffed hundreds of insurgent attacks. We have rescued 41 districts from collapse which was the main target of the enemy, and as you are all aware that security forces had a bloody battle with enemies of Afghanistan in Badakhshan, Kunduz, Sare-Pul, Baghlan, Faryab, Ghor, Badghis, and several battles in Helmand and Kandahar provinces," MoD Operations Director General Afzal Aman told reporters.

"We have conducted more than 565 planned operations, clearing operations, special operations, commando operations and independent night operations," Aman told reporters.

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Thu, 30 Jul 2015 12:39:46 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20674-mod-prevents-collapse-of-41-districts-in-past-four-months
Peace Talks Postponed at Taliban's Request: Pakistan http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20673-peace-talks-postponed-at-talibans-request-pakistan

Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday afternoon that the much-awaited second round of peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban has been postponed. The talks were due to take place tomorrow, Friday.

In a statement issued by the ministry, Pakistan said: "In view of the reports regarding the death of Mulla Omar and the resulting uncertainty, and at the request of the Afghan Taliban leadership, the second round of the Afghan peace talks, which was scheduled to be held in Pakistan on 31 July 2015, is being postponed."

The statement went on to say that "Pakistan and other friendly countries of Afghanistan hope that the Taliban leadership will stay engaged in the process of peace talks in order to promote a lasting peace in Afghanistan."

"It is further hoped that those forces, which due to their malafide intent wanted to undermine the peace talks, will not succeed in their designs," read the statement.

This announcement comes only hours after Pakistan media reports stated that Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour - Mullah Omar's close aide – has been appointed as the new Taliban leader.

The new Taliban chief, Mansour, previously served as the second-in-command of the movement.

According to Pakistan media, the Afghan Taliban Shura (Executives Council) appointed Mansour after the Afghan government confirmed Wednesday that Omar had died two years ago in a Karachi hospital.

Meanwhile, former chief and the movement's founder, Mullah Omar led the militant group to victory over competing Afghan militias in the 1990's after the withdrawal of Soviet troops.

The Taliban government was ousted after the US-led forces invaded Afghanistan in 2001.

On Wednesday, a spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Afghanistan's intelligence agency officials claimed that the reclusive former Taliban chief died two years ago at a hospital in Pakistan.

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Thu, 30 Jul 2015 12:11:48 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20673-peace-talks-postponed-at-talibans-request-pakistan
GOFTMAN: Discussing the Issue of a Public Uprising http://www.tolonews.com/en/programmes/goftman/20672-goftman-discussing-the-issue-of-a-public-uprising

In this episode of GOFTMAN host Haris Jamalzad discusses the recent call for a public uprising to get local police and the people to stand up to insurgents. In addition the program looks at the concerns raised over such a move. Guests include:

Siddiq Siddiqi, spokesman for the MoI
Fahim Dashti, political analyst
Mohammad Azim Muhssini, MP
Shah Hussain Murtazawi, journalist

To watch the program, click here:

{youtube}WHSqh5D5dpE{/youtube}

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Thu, 30 Jul 2015 10:57:07 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/programmes/goftman/20672-goftman-discussing-the-issue-of-a-public-uprising
FARAKHABAR: Afghan Officials Confirm Death of Mullah Omar http://www.tolonews.com/en/fara-khabar/20671-farakhabar-afghan-officials-confirm-death-of-mullah-omar

President Ashraf Ghani's office on Wednesday confirmed the Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar is dead.

Apparently the confirmation came from Pakistan.

In this episode of Farakhabar, host Yama Siavash discusses the topic with the following guests,

Dawood Kalakani, MP
Ahmad Sayedi, political analyst

To watch the program, click here:

{youtube}ykfet8JEM4M{/youtube}

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Thu, 30 Jul 2015 10:50:53 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/fara-khabar/20671-farakhabar-afghan-officials-confirm-death-of-mullah-omar
TAWDE KHABARE: Mullah Omar Dead http://www.tolonews.com/en/tawde-khabare/20670-tawde-khabare-mullah-omar-dead

Sources in the government said that Mullah Omar, the Taliban, leader died in April 2013 in Pakistan.

The confirmation of his death was reportedly provided by Pakistan government to Afghan government.

Taliban has yet to issue a statement.

The news comes on the eve of the second round of peace talks due to be held in Pakistan.

In this episode of Tawde Khabare, host Shapoor Bakhtiar discusses the issue with the following guests:

Obaidullah Barakzai, MP

Mohammad Younos Fakor, political analyst

Fiz Mohammad Zaland, university lecturer

To watch the program, click here:

{youtube}AK2frUWaXJU{/youtube}

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Thu, 30 Jul 2015 09:59:48 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/tawde-khabare/20670-tawde-khabare-mullah-omar-dead
Nangarhar Drone Strike Kills 20 Suspected Daesh Militants http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20669-nangarhar-drone-strike-kills-20-suspected-daesh-militants

More than 20 suspected Daesh militants were killed in two separate foreign troops drone strikes in eastern Nangarhar province on Wednesday evening, local officials said on Thursday.

The incident took place in Haroon Baba area of Haska Mina district of the province after two separate drones targeted them while they were travelling to another part of the district, a spokesman for Nangarhar Governor Ahmad Zia Abdulzai said.

There were no civilian casualties in the strike, said Abdulzai.

However, he did not provide details about the identity of the insurgents.

Haska Mina district is a known insecure area in which insurgents have activities and frequently attack the local security forces.

Foreign troop drone strikes have increased markedly in the eastern parts of the country recently. Just last week at least five insurgents were killed in a foreign troops drone strike in the same province.

The incident took place in Lalpoor district when a foreign troops drone targeted them, a spokesman for Nangarhar Police Chief, Hazrat Hussian Mashriqiwal said.

Lalpoor district is a known insecure area in which insurgents have activities and frequently attack the local security forces.

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Thu, 30 Jul 2015 07:58:04 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20669-nangarhar-drone-strike-kills-20-suspected-daesh-militants
10 Kunduz Villages Cleared of Taliban http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20668-10-kunduz-villages-cleared-of-taliban-

At least 10 villages in the Aqtash area of Khanabad district in Kunduz province have been cleared of Taliban, officials said Thursday.

Kunduz police chief Abdul Saboor Nasrati, said that troops on Wednesday started clearing out the insurgents in Basos and Kuhna Qala in Aqtash. He said in total ten villages had been cleared of Taliban.

During the clearing operation 10 Taliban were killed and five others were wounded, Nasrati said.

The clearing operation is still on going, Nasrati added.

This comes after Taliban insurgents reportedly seized control of as many as 80 villages on Monday night in northern Kunduz province, officials said.

Afghan security officials believe however that the war increased in the north and east of the country after insurgent groups came over the border from Waziristan in Pakistan.

Concerns have however been raised over why Afghanistan did nothing to prevent the problem after Pakistan military forces launched an operation to clear insurgents from Waziristan.

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Thu, 30 Jul 2015 06:05:09 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20668-10-kunduz-villages-cleared-of-taliban-
Mullah Omar Death Reports Credible: White House http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20667-mullah-omar-death-reports-credible-white-house- white-house-washigton

White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz said on Wednesday that despite them not being able to confirm the death of the Taliban's supreme leader Mullah Omar, his administration believes the reports are "credible".

According to Schultz, United States intelligence agencies are investigating the claims and looking for details.

However, Afghan officials on Wednesday confirmed Mullah Omar's death and said he died in 2013 in a hospital in Karachi, Pakistan.

"The government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, based on credible information, confirms that Mullah Mohammad Omar, leader of the Taliban died in April 2013 in Pakistan," President Ashraf Ghani's office said in a statement.

The Taliban have not yet commented on the reports but are expected to send a statement soon to the media.

Meanwhile, former head of counter-terrorism for Britain's MI6, Richard Barrett, said that news of the death of Mullah Omar will increase the possibility of divisions within the Taliban.

According to Barrett, Taliban leader Mullah Omar kept the group united and that in his absence there were fears of a split – especially among the higher ranking leaders, he said.

Mullah Omar, who was Afghanistan's 11th head of state from 1996 to late 2001, was believed to have been living in Quetta and Karachi cities in Pakistan.

Based on Pakistani media reports, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, a close aide of Mullah Omar, is planning to take over as leader.

Abdul Qayoum Zakir, Taliban's military commander, is however reported to be opposing Mansour's move.

Meanwhile, some Pakistani media reports suggest that Omar's son, Mullah Mohammad Yaqoub, is himself hoping to succeed his father – a decision that many other senior leaders of Taliban have reportedly opposed. Yaqoub is said to have graduated from a Madrasa in the port city of Karachi.

Mullah Omar has been wanted by the United States Department of State's Rewards for Justice program since October 2001 for sheltering Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda militants in the years prior to the September 11 attacks.

He is believed to have directed the Taliban insurgency against Afghanistan from Pakistan in the past 14 years.

In addition, Afghan former Interior Minister Ali Ahmad Jalali, on Wednesday called Pakistan the main factor for peace talks not Mullah Mohammad Omar.

Speaking to the reporter in US Jalali, said that Mullah Omar's presence was not a factor for talks, but the main factor is Pakistan that has brought changes in its approach.

Mr. Jalali said that the United States can play a prominence role in the Afghan peace process.

Meanwhile former United States ambassador in Afghanistan Zalmai Khalilzad, believes that man who can successor Mullah Mohammad Omar and can reach a peace agreement with Afghan government and get Taliban's leadership is not exist.

According to Khalilzad, with the death of Mullah Omar there is possibility of three incidents: first increase of violence and extremist, second Taliban's division and the third appointment of moderate Taliban leader.

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Thu, 30 Jul 2015 05:46:40 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20667-mullah-omar-death-reports-credible-white-house-
Nawzad District of Helmand Collapses to the Taliban http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20666-nawzad-district-of-helmand-collapses-to-the-taliban

Nawzad district of Helmand province collapsed into the hands of the Taliban on Wednesday, officials confirmed.

According to local officials in Nawzad district, intense fighting has been reported over the past two days between Afghan forces and Taliban fighters. Eventually on Wednesday afternoon the district collapsed to the Taliban.

A number of Senate House members also confirmed the collapse of Nawzad district.

"Over the past two days clashes in Nawzad district (have resulted in) nine policemen and seven ANA soldiers being killed and the whole district collapsed to the hands of Taliban," said Mohammad Hashim Alkozai a senator.

Last year a number of residents and local officials of Nawzad district of southern Helmand province raised concerns over the possibility of the district's collapse and takeover by the Taliban.

They stress that if the government does not deploy additional troops to the district, the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) will lose the control.

Reports indicate that the infrastructure in the district has not developed much in the past 13 years and many residents are unemployed and live in poverty.

"We don't have security. We face danger every day when we leave our houses," Lal Gul one of the district residents said.

In addition, Taliban insurgents have seized control of Kohistanat district in Sar-e-Pul province and several villages in Kunduz province over the past few days, local officials said.

Ministry of Defense, Dawlat Waziri said that more troops will deployed to the north of Afghanistan and a large scale military operation will be launched.

Waziri said that the collapse of districts should not create panic among the people.

Meanwhile, Taliban insurgents reportedly also seized control of as many as 80 villages on Monday night in northern Kunduz province, officials said.

Afghan security officials believe however that the war increased in the north and east of the country after insurgent groups came over the border from Waziristan in Pakistan.

Concerns have however been raised over why Afghanistan did nothing to prevent the problem after Pakistan military forces launched an operation to clear insurgents from Waziristan.

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Thu, 30 Jul 2015 02:43:32 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20666-nawzad-district-of-helmand-collapses-to-the-taliban
TOLOnews 6pm News 29 July 2015 http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/20665-tolonews-6pm-news-29-july-2015 Top news in this Bulletin:

Afghan doctors at Sardar Mohammad Dawoud Khan Hospital in Kabul have conducted a series of successful operations on a congenitally disabled boy that have made it possible for him to walk, eat and play - things he was previously unable to do.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

{youtube}h2YaniZ0dyU{/youtube}

Officials at Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA) on Wednesday criticized the Kabul government for failing to take action to amend the country's access to information legislation in such a way that would enhance access among those who still lack it, especially women.

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Wed, 29 Jul 2015 16:29:28 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/20665-tolonews-6pm-news-29-july-2015
IWA Calls for Reform in Access to Information http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20664-iwa-calls-for-reform-in-access-to-information WOMEEEN 29JULY

Officials at Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA) on Wednesday criticized the Kabul government for failing to take action to amend the country's access to information legislation in such a way that would enhance access among those who still lack it, especially women.

IWA officials emphasized that amending the law could open the way for higher literacy rates among Afghan women.

But activists say they have sent civil society, media and international expert-based proposals for reforms to the access to information law and the government has stalled on responding for months.

"We, in agreement with each other, sent a proposal to the president of Afghanistan to bring amendments in to the access to information law so that all people of Afghanistan have equal access to it," IWA representative Habib Muqbel said on Wednesday.

The pervasive lack of awareness and sensitivity when it comes to women's issues in Afghanistan is one of the key reasons activists believe Afghan women should have more of a stake in the access to information law.

"Inadequate access to information is why more than 70 percent of people, especially women, remain deprived of literacy in the country," IWA member Sami Popalzai said.

The IWA has called on the national unity government and Parliament, which is currently on summer recess, to immediate action and amend the access to information law as soon as possible.

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Wed, 29 Jul 2015 16:19:20 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20664-iwa-calls-for-reform-in-access-to-information
Afghanistan's Future in TAPI Project Unclear http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20662-afghanistans-future-in-tapi-project-unclear topi 29july

Reports that government officials are considering selling Afghanistan's stake in the regional TAPI project have sparked concerns that the move could mean giving away all the leverage and discretion the government would have in its implementation.

The TAPI project entails the transferring of natural gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and on to Pakistan and India. Some officials at the Ministry of Mines & Petroleum have reportedly proposed to the Council of Ministers that Afghanistan sell its share in the project to the other shareholders or involved countries and should only have a transit role in the project.

Meanwhile, a number of economic analysts have warned that this decision would not be to the benefit of the Afghan government of the country.

"Being a partner in the project is different than working for the project. At this point, if the Afghan government sells its share not as a shareholder but as a transit country, then it means Afghanistan will not have the right in major decisions nor the right to vote on the matter. As a country it is very important for us to be a shareholder in the project," said Azarakhsh Hafizi, the head of the international relations committee at the Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI).

The Ministry of Mines has officially rejected reports that Afghanistan will sell its share, but according to a draft proposal recommending the creation of a subsidiary company to work on the project, the possibility of the government becoming a silent partner has been floated.

"The issue over selling or leaving the share is just a rumor, but we are striving to improve Afghanistan's role with other countries involved in this project with a strong stance and for this propose a company under the name of 'Afghan Pipeline' will be established," Ministry of Mines spokesman Mohiuddin Noori said.

Security issues have prompted some of the shareholders of the TAPI project to express reservations about Afghanistan's role.

"The Afghan government must try to implement the project in favor of the country and must not lose the trust of its shareholders in this project," said Obidullah Ramin, the head of Parliament's Natural Resources Commission.

Last year TAPI shareholders decided to create an equal consortium for implementation of the TAPI project. Annually some 33 billion cubic meters of Turkmenistan's gas is expected to pass by pipeline to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

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Wed, 29 Jul 2015 15:56:33 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20662-afghanistans-future-in-tapi-project-unclear
Afghan Doctors Help Disabled Poor Walk Again http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20661-afghan-doctors-help-disabled-poor-walk-again HEILTH 29JULY

Afghan doctors at Sardar Mohammad Dawoud Khan Hospital in Kabul have conducted a series of successful operations on a congenitally disabled boy that have made it possible for him to walk, eat and play - things he was previously unable to do.

Doctors and family members have confirmed that the fifteen year old, named Haidar, is resident of Ghor province and lost his entire family under the Taliban regime. Reportedly Haidar had lost hope that he would ever be able to walk - before beginning the treatment.

"The fifteen year old Haidar was congenitally disabled and one year ago he was referred to us and after four operations we were able to treat him and now he can walk and he can address all his necessities by his own," said Abdul Wali Ashrat Ahmadzai, the head of the orthopedic department at Sardar Mohammad Dawoud Khan hospital.

Haidar says that in addition to the practical difficulties he faced because of his disabilities, he also was bullied by other children his age.

"For years I suffered and when I was going outside to play my friends were making fun of me and I was not able to play and eat," Haidar told TOLOnews. "Now I can walk, study, eat and I can even play football," he said.

According to Haidar's relatives, he had traveled to Pakistan and Iran previously in search of treatment, but they did not have enough money to get it.

"Haidar has lost all his family under the Taliban regime in Bamyan province and then we brought him to Ghor to our home and he was congenitally disabled but may Allah bless Dr. Wali who treated him," said Haidar's aunt.

This is not the first time that doctors in Sardar Mohammad Dawoud Khan Hospital successfully treated a congenitally disabled boy; previously, a team of Afghan surgeons conducted a successful operation on a female patient who was unable to walk for almost 20 years.

Twenty-one year old Samana moved around for most of her life by dragging her legs with the support of her upper body. After 20 years, and six operations doctors were able to give her the gift of walking.

The young lady, who hails from a poor family from western Herat province, thanked the team of surgeons and expressed hope for her future.

"I was disappointed several times because I had consulted several doctors for treatment, but had no luck," Samana said. "But these doctors here renewed my hope and now I am healthy and happy. In the future I want to become a doctor."

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Wed, 29 Jul 2015 15:54:33 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20661-afghan-doctors-help-disabled-poor-walk-again
Afghanistan to Meet World Class Teams Ahead of 2016 T-20 World Cup http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20660-afghanistan-to-meet-world-class-teams-ahead-of-2016-t-20-world-cup

The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) on Wednesday announced its pre-Twenty-20 World Cup plans ahead of the championships scheduled for next year in India.

In the run up to event, the Afghan National Cricket Team will play T-20 and ODI matches against several world class teams – including teams that have permanent membership at the International Cricket Council (ICC), the ACB executive director Shafiqullah Stanekzai told a press conference in Kabul.

Stanekzai said Afghanistan will face Zimbabwe for the first time in October, where they will play two T-20 matches.

In addition, the national side is also expected to meet Pakistan and Sri Lanka in ODI matches prior to the T-20 World Cup, Stanekzai continued.

"Our national team will leave for Zimbabwe in October to play two 20-20 matches," he said, noting that a triangular series between Afghanistan, Ireland and Zimbabwe was also expected in the same month.

Afghanistan's Alokozai Group, which is sponsoring the matches, has signed the contract with Zimbabwe, according to ACB officials.

"This contract will result in the development of our cricket board on an international level," said Mirwais Seyal, marketing director of Alokozai Group.

These statements came a day after the Afghan cricketers returned home after participating in the T-20 qualifying rounds in Ireland and Scotland. The Afghan cricketers qualified for the 2016 ICC T-20 World Cup.

The team also secured fifth place in the qualifying rounds by recording five victories, two loses and two draws during the tournament.

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Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:28:34 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20660-afghanistan-to-meet-world-class-teams-ahead-of-2016-t-20-world-cup
Gambia, Russia Sign Historic Anti-Drug Accord that Involves Afghanistan http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20659-gambia-russia-sign-historic-anti-drug-accord-that-involves-afghanistan

The Gambia and the Russian Federation have signed a historic agreement meant to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in the fight against drug trafficking.

Much of the focus fell on the major flow of drug trafficking via Africa and North America and the high cause of destabilization of and trafficking in Afghanistan.

Russia's RT reported that illegal drugs have become for terrorist quasi-state groups what gold and foreign currency reserves are for other economies, the head of the Russian state anti-drug agency Victor Ivanov said at an international conference in Africa this week.

The overall annual income from the illegal drugs trade exceeds $500 billion. This money fuels the financial and organizational basis for new powerful entities that then compete with traditional states, Ivanov said at the Moscow-African anti-drug dialogue event that took place in Gambia's capital Banjul.

"Illegal drugs form some sort of gold and foreign currency reserves for quasi-state groups," he said.

Such quasi-state entities use the huge financial clout of the illegal drugs trade to attract and structure significant human resources. They offer their members an ideological basis that unites them, thus acquiring features of quasi-states, the Russian official explained.

"Boko Haram, Islamic State (Daesh) and a number of others are all examples of such evolution," the Russian drugs tsar said.

In March, Ivanov said at a press interview that Daesh made up to $1 billion annually from Afghan heroin trafficked through its territory. He predicted another record-high poppy harvest this year in the country. He also urged raising the issue of fighting the Daesh drugs trade on the highest international level, including at the UN as this is a global security threat.

Russia currently recognizes Daesh as terrorists, which means Russian citizens are banned from participating in these organizations or rendering any support to them under threat of criminal prosecution. The Russian Foreign Ministry earlier called upon all nations to recognize the two groups as terrorists.

In March, the head of Russia's State Security Council, Nikolay Patrushev, called on the international community to abandon double standards on terrorism and start fighting the threat in line with universally recognized norms of international law, reported RT.

In addition, Russian Muslim unions have issued fatwas against Daesh denouncing them as enemies of Islam and calling for the trial and punishment of all its members.

The signing which was held at the fringes of the Moscow-Africa Anti-Drug Dialogue last week also saw the Russian Federation sign similar agreements with Ethiopia and Mali at the end of the Dialogue.

This is connected to Moscow's target to cooperate with African countries to fight cartels that use the continent as transit to smuggle drugs into western countries.

Ousman Sonko, Gambia's Interior minister signed the agreement on behalf of the host while Victor Ivanov, the director of the Federal Drug Control Services of the Russian Federation assented for his country.

The Moscow-Africa Anti-Drug Dialogue sought to create a stronger cooperation between the Russian Federation and African countries in the fight against drug trafficking. More than ten African countries attended the dialogue.

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Wed, 29 Jul 2015 11:39:29 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20659-gambia-russia-sign-historic-anti-drug-accord-that-involves-afghanistan
Ghani's Office Confirms Death of Mullah Omar http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20658-ghanis-office-confirms-death-of-mullah-omar Mullah Omar

The Afghan government confirmed late Wednesday that the Taliban's Supreme leader Mullah Omar is dead after reports started surfacing two days ago. This comes just days before the second round of peace talks are due to start.

"The government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, based on credible information, confirms that Mullah Mohammad Omar, leader of the Taliban died in April 2013 in Pakistan," President Ashraf Ghani's office said in a statement.

The confirmation from Presidential Palace – called ARG – came after sources within the Afghan National Security Council reported earlier in the day about the death of Taliban's one-eyed leader – who has rarely been seen in public.

According to unnamed sources earlier in the day, Omar - whose regime was overthrown by U.S.-led NATO invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 - reportedly died two years ago.

The Taliban have not yet commented on the reports but are expected to send a statement soon to the media.

However the Afghan government said that grounds for the Afghan peace talks "are more paved now than before."

The statement called on the all armed opposition groups to "seize the opportunity and join the peace process."

Omar, who was Afghanistan's 11th head of state from 1996 to late 2001, was believed to have been living in Quetta and Karachi cities in Pakistan.

His regime called the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was recognized by only three nations: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Over the past few days, some Pakistani media channels reported on the death of Mullah Omar. These reports started making headlines when debates about Omar's successor started circulating in Pakistan media.

Based on Pakistani media reports, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, a close aide of Mullah Omar, is planning to replace his leader.

Abdul Qayoum Zakir, Taliban's military commander, is however reported to be opposing Mansour's move.

Meanwhile, some Pakistani media reports suggest that Omar's son, Mullah Mohammad Yaqoub, is himself hoping to succeed his father – a decision that many other senior leaders of Taliban have reportedly opposed. Yaqoub is said to have graduated from a Madrasa in the port city of Karachi.

Considering the discordance over the next leader of the group, analysts, meanwhile, believe the issue could leave a negative impact on the ongoing peace talks.

But questions have been raised over who wrote Omar's Eid statements and other messages over the past two years.

This year's Taliban Eid message, which was reportedly written quite politely compared to previous notes, was however welcomed by the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Mullah Omar has been wanted by the United States Department of State's Rewards for Justice program since October 2001 for sheltering Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda militants in the years prior to the September 11 attacks.

He is believed to have directed the Taliban insurgency against Afghanistan from Pakistan in the past 14 years.

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Wed, 29 Jul 2015 09:47:42 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20658-ghanis-office-confirms-death-of-mullah-omar
13 Insurgents Killed in Helmand Operation http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20657-13-insurgents-killed-in-helmand-operation afghan-soldiers-29-July

At least 13 insurgents were killed in a joint security forces operation in southern Helmand province, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a statement on Wednesday.

The operation was launched by the 215th Maiwand Corps in Musa Qala district of the province to clear the anti-government insurgents, the statement said.

There were no civilian or military casualties during the operation, read the statement.

"The forces also discovered two mines during the operation," it added.

However, the Taliban has not yet commented on the operation as yet.

With the increasing of insurgent activities in the country, the security forces have launched military operations in a number of parts of the country to clear the militants.

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Wed, 29 Jul 2015 09:13:29 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20657-13-insurgents-killed-in-helmand-operation
BA REWAYATE DIGAR: Spotlight Falls on War in Northern Afghanistan http://www.tolonews.com/en/ba-rewayate-digar/20656-ba-rewayate-digar-spotlight-falls-on-war-in-northern-afghanistan Ba-Rewayate-Digar-28-July-2015

Taliban insurgents have seized control of Kohistanat district in Sar-e-Pul province and several villages in Kunduz province over the past two days, local officials said on Tuesday.

To watch the program, click here:

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Meanwhile, Taliban insurgents reportedly seized control of as many as 80 villages on Monday night in northern Kunduz province, officials said.

In this episode of BA REWAYATE DIGAR, host Muslim Sherzad discusses the reason behind the war in the northern Afghanistan with the following guests:

• Bashir Ahmad Tayang, MP from Faryab
• Amanullah Paiman, MP from Badakhshan
• Sayed Anwar Sadat, MP from Sar-e-Pul
• Abdul Rahman Rahmani, MP from Balkh province
• Shah Waliullah Adib, Badakhshan governor (On Skype)
• Abdul Satar Barez, Faryab deputy governor (On Skype)

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Wed, 29 Jul 2015 07:46:42 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/ba-rewayate-digar/20656-ba-rewayate-digar-spotlight-falls-on-war-in-northern-afghanistan
Young Girl Dies in Laghman Floods http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20655-young-girl-dies-in-laghman-floods Flood-Afghanistan22

A young girl was killed in flash floods that destroyed large swathes of agriculture lands and gardens in eastern Laghman province on Tuesday, local officials said.

The floods occurred in Alingar, Alishing and Dawlat Shah districts due to heavy rains, a spokesman for Laghman Governor, Sarhadi Zwok said.

"Thirty five houses, dams and agriculture lands have been destroyed due to rains." He believed that the death toll may rise.

The residents of the district have meanwhile pleased with authorities for help.

In response, local officials said that a delegation has been sent to the area to investigate the damage and to provide help for the people.

Every year, flash floods occur in the northern, eastern and western parts of the country and cause widespread destruction at this time of year.

The National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) on Tuesday said that over the past three days 12 provinces suffered heavy flooding, leaving in the wake a number of villages facing destruction and loss.

Parwan, Kapisa, Badakhshan, Takhar, Baghlan, Jowzjan, Panjsher, Nuristan, Maidan Wardak, Bamiyan and Paktika provinces have all seen heavy rain and flash floods over the past week.

The death toll has now risen to three, following today's death.

In addition 2,500 families suffered major property damage and losses.

"Many families have suffered losses in the floods, and the aid we had in provincial offices we have sent to the effected families," ANDMA head Mohammad Aslam Sias said on Tuesday. "According to our reports, the rain will continue for the coming days too. The potential floods will threaten a number of houses."

According to a report by INFORM, a global risk assessment firm that focuses on humanitarian crises and disasters, Afghanistan is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world.

A recent ANDMA report indicates that since the beginning of the year more than 700 Afghans lost their lives due to different natural disasters.

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Wed, 29 Jul 2015 07:02:48 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20655-young-girl-dies-in-laghman-floods
Two Civilians Killed in Kunduz Blast http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20653-two-civilians-killed-in-kunduz-blast Kunduz-29-July-2015

At least two civilians were killed in a blast in northern Kunduz province early Wednesday, local officials said.

In addition, 11 other civilians were injured in the blast.

The blast took place about 10am local time after explosive devices placed near Kunduz hospital were detonated, head of Provincial Council of Kunduz, Mohammad Yousuf Ayoubi said.

He did not provided further details.

The police have started investigations into the incident, according to officials.

However, no group including the Taliban has claimed responsibility for the blast yet.

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Wed, 29 Jul 2015 06:36:45 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20653-two-civilians-killed-in-kunduz-blast
Pakistan Police Kill Leader of Anti-Shiite Militant Group http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20652-pakistan-police-kill-leader-of-anti-shiite-militant-group Leader-of-Anti-Shiite-Militant-Group

The leader of an anti-Shiite militant group behind some of Pakistan's worst sectarian attacks was killed in a shootout with police Wednesday, authorities said.

Malik Ishaq was shot dead along with several other senior Laskhar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) leaders in the eastern province of Punjab.

LeJ, long seen as close to Al-Qaeda and more recently accused of developing links with the Daesh group, has a reputation as one of Pakistan's most ruthless militant groups.

Ishaq, who has been in and out of police custody in recent years, was arrested on Saturday and was being moved when loyalists attacked the convoy in Muzaffargarh, a senior police official who took part in the encounter told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"The police retaliated and in the encounter Ishaq, his two sons and 11 others were killed, while six policemen were injured," he said.

Punjab Home Minister Shuja Khanzada confirmed to AFP that Ishaq and "13 other sectarian militants including two of his sons" had been killed in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Another senior police official said the attack came after Ishaq and the other LeJ cadres had been taken to recover a cache of explosives.

The cache included "three water coolers full of explosive, detonators, a Kalashnikov, some rifles and hundreds of bullets," the police official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"After the recovery when police were returning back, at around 3:00am, more than a dozen terrorists attacked the convoy and tried to rescue Ishaq and others," the police official said.

He said all the six militants in police custody were killed along with eight of the attackers, while some of the would-be rescuers fled.

Mushtaq Rasoor, chief doctor at the government-run Muzaffargarh District Hospital, confirmed receiving 14 dead bodies.

There has been no immediate reaction from LeJ but police encounters in Pakistan have often being viewed with suspicion.

Ishaq gained notoriety for his anti-Shiite rhetoric and has been accused of masterminding dozens of attacks against the minority group.

LeJ had claimed responsibility for some of the most brazen attacks on Shiite minorities in Pakistan's recent history including a January 2013 bombing in the southwestern city of Quetta that killed over a hundred members of the Shiite Hazara minority group.

In February 2013, LeJ claimed responsibility for another attack in the same neighbourhood that killed around 80 members from the Hazara community.

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Wed, 29 Jul 2015 05:21:46 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/20652-pakistan-police-kill-leader-of-anti-shiite-militant-group
TAWDE KHBARE: Afghanistan Ranked Second in Human Trafficking http://www.tolonews.com/en/tawde-khabare/20651-tawde-khbare-afghanistan-ranked-second-in-human-trafficking Tawde-Khabare-28-July-2015

The latest U.S. report on human trafficking has put Afghanistan in second place in terms of human trafficking and states that most of the victims are reported to be children.

To watch the program, click here:

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The report, which is compiled annually by the U.S. State Department, rates 188 countries on their efforts to curb human trafficking.

The 2015 U.S. report illustrated Cuba, Kenya and Saudi Arabia are doing better at fighting the phenomenon, while Egypt, Ghana and Bulgaria are reported to be the worst countries in the battle.

Furthermore, the report stated that Afghan boys were also being subjected to forced labor in Iran in the construction and agricultural sectors.

In this episode of Tawde Khabare, host Zabiullah Sadat discusses the issue with the following guests:

Abdul Rahman Hotak, commissioner of the Independent Human Rights Commission
Muhibullah Sharif, Freelance journalist
Javed Shakeb, civil society activist
Gul Padshah Majidi, MP

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Wed, 29 Jul 2015 03:23:52 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/tawde-khabare/20651-tawde-khbare-afghanistan-ranked-second-in-human-trafficking
FARAKHABAR: Taliban Seize Sar-e-Pul's Kohistanat District http://www.tolonews.com/en/fara-khabar/20650-farakhabar-taliban-seize-sar-e-puls-kohistanat-district  

FaraKhabar-28-July 2015

Taliban insurgents have seized control of Kohistanat district in Sar-e-Pul province and several villages in Kunduz province over the past two days, local officials said on Tuesday.

To watch the program, click here:

{youtube}jbpLjcaHUzc{/youtube}

Meanwhile, Taliban insurgents reportedly seized control of as many as 80 villages on Monday night in northern Kunduz province, officials said.

The incident took place after Taliban insurgents attacked Khan Abad district in Kunduz two days ago and started clashing with residents in the district.

In this episode of Farakhabar, host Yama Siavash discusses the topic with the following guests,

Sharifi Balkhabi, MP
Mohammad Asif Jabarkhail, Sar-e-Pul police chief

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Wed, 29 Jul 2015 03:04:49 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/fara-khabar/20650-farakhabar-taliban-seize-sar-e-puls-kohistanat-district
TOLOnews 6pm News 28 July 2015 http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/20649-tolonews-6pm-news-28-july-2015 Top news in this Bulletin:

The latest U.S. report on human trafficking has put Afghanistan in the second tier in terms of human trafficking and states that most of the victims are reported to be children.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

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An official Afghan delegation is expected to leave for Islamabad on Tuesday in a bid to get the Pakistani military to halt their rocket attack offensive against Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

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Tue, 28 Jul 2015 16:56:08 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/20649-tolonews-6pm-news-28-july-2015