TOLOnews.com RSS Feed http://tolonews.com/ Thu, 25 Aug 2016 23:25:27 GMT FeedCreator 1.8.0-dev (info@mypapit.net) Abdullah-Ghani Meet for Second Time at ARG http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26932-abdullah-ghani-meet-for-second-time-at-arg abdullah-25

The office of the CEO announced Thursday night that the two National Unity Government leaders held a meeting at the Presidential Palace (ARG) earlier in the day.

According to a statement issued by CEO Abdullah Abdullah's office, it was noted that the meeting took place in a cordial atmosphere and the two leaders exchanged views on a number of national issues including the overall political situation in the country.

"At the meeting, the president (Ashraf Ghani) stressed the need for the sustainability of the pillars of the national unity government and unanimity of views regarding challenges, opportunities ahead for the national unity government and to find resolutions to the issues," the press release read.

"At the meeting, the leaders of the national unity government decided to convene more meetings in the coming weeks aimed to conduct further discussions on tackling affairs with consensus in line with the political agreement," the press release concluded.

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Thu, 25 Aug 2016 17:47:16 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26932-abdullah-ghani-meet-for-second-time-at-arg
TOLOnews 6pm News 25 August 2016 http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/26930-tolonews-6pm-news-25-august-2016- ZAKI-25Top news in this Bulletin:

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on Thursday condemned the attack in Kabul on the American University of Afghanistan that killed 16 and injured more than 50 others, mostly students.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

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 The public health ministry on Thursday confirmed the death toll from the American University of Afghanistan attack had risen to 16 by Thursday afternoon.

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Thu, 25 Aug 2016 15:27:45 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/26930-tolonews-6pm-news-25-august-2016-
UNAMA Condemns Deadly Attack On University http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26929-unama-condemns-deadly-attack-on-university UNAMA-25

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on Thursday condemned the attack in Kabul on the American University of Afghanistan that killed 16 and injured more than 50 others, mostly students.

The attack began with the detonation of a car bomb near the university, which enabled two attackers to enter the compound during the busy evening class period.

In a statement issued by UNAMA, Pernille Kardel, the Secretary-General's Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Acting Head of Mission said: "An attack deliberately targeting an educational facility, during evening classes for university students, is an atrocity and those responsible must be held accountable."

"The country's youth are a source of pride and bring real hope for a better future. I am hopeful that violence will not discourage their desire for continued learning and attaining the knowledge and skills critical to Afghanistan's prosperity," she said.

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Thu, 25 Aug 2016 15:00:04 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26929-unama-condemns-deadly-attack-on-university
Casualty Toll Rises After University Attack http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26928-casualty-toll-rises-after-university-attack casualties-25

The public health ministry on Thursday confirmed the death toll from the American University of Afghanistan attack had risen to 16 by Thursday afternoon.

In addition, 53 people had been wounded.

At least eight people had been admitted to the Kabul Emergency Hospital in critical condition, one of whom died on Thursday, said public health ministry officials.

Khawja Qamaruddin Sediqi, advisor for the ministry of public health said: "Eight of the wounded people were in critical condition."

Daud, a student at the AUAF, who was wounded in the attack, said when they realized shooters were coming toward them they turned off the lights and hid in the dark. However, this did not stop insurgents from opening fire in the dark classroom, he said.

"I myself saw that the insurgents came inside. After that I put my head down waiting to die and did not understand what was happening; (I thought) I am going to die tonight. My head was down when they opened fire and shot three to four times. I did not understand where and who they were firing on," said Daud.

Daud said he was wounded and had been about to jump from the third floor window when the insurgents retreated.

Public health ministry officials meanwhile confirmed on Thursday afternoon that among those killed were eight students, including two females, three Crisis Response Unit (CRU) members, two security guards, two university professors and one civilian from the adjoining school where the initial car bomb was detonated.

"Five females are among the 19 wounded that have been brought to the emergency hospital. Thirty wounded are in serious condition and one of them died," said Dr Dejan Panic, program director for the emergency hospital.

Around 700 students were present on the campus when the attack happened. Most of the students were rescued by security forces.

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Thu, 25 Aug 2016 14:37:21 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26928-casualty-toll-rises-after-university-attack
First RAPL Match Of Season Ends In Draw http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26927-first-rapl-match-of-season-ends-in-draw RAPLS-25

The Roshan Afghan Premier League 2016 kicked off to an exhilarating start Thursday when defending champions De Spinghar Bazan took on Simorgh Alborz at the Ghazi Stadium in Kabul.

The match ended in a two all draw.

Both teams gave it their best but failed to score in the second half.

Ghulam Fayaz and Hussain Reza scored for Simorgh Alborz while Shafiq Ayoubi and Ghulam Hazrat Naizi scored for De Spinghar Bazan.

The match followed an exciting opening ceremony that drew thousands of fans.

According to match officials, this year's teams have worked hard to get this far.

"All teams are well-prepared; they have worked hard to become the next champions. We have also strived hard on our part and will not let anyone else get the title," said Wali Jan, coach of De Spinghar Bazan.

"This year, teams are very strong, nearly 70 percent are youths, we want to invite new faces to the national team," said Yousaf Kargar, deputy head of Afghanistan Football Federation.

The next match will played on Friday between Shaheen Asmayee and Toofan Harirod.

Kick-off is at 4pm and will be broadcast live by TOLO TV and Lemar.

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Thu, 25 Aug 2016 14:28:05 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26927-first-rapl-match-of-season-ends-in-draw
Electoral Reforms Critical Ahead Of Brussels Summit http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26926-electoral-reforms-critical-ahead-of-brussels-summit brussels-25-final

Shah Sultan Akefi, the head of the special commission for electoral reforms said on Thursday that it is critical for government to issue a decree on electoral reforms and establish a new election commission before the Brussels Summit in October.

Akefi said that the national unity government's commitment to effecting reforms is key for the continued support of the international community and as such government needs to take practical steps in this regard.

He said it is critical that reforms in the electoral system are implemented ahead of the summit and said government must establish a selection committee and that the selection committee must choose a new electoral commission within the next month.

"According to Article 79 of the Constitution, if government issues a new decree and the selection committee starts its work and selects members of a new electoral commission, it means that they have taken some practical steps towards reforms. The new commission will need to specify an election date and approve an election schedule. These are important preliminary steps for holding elections which will be supported by the international community," said Akefi.

However, organizations supervising the election process have said government is not serious about bringing electoral reforms and holding parliamentary elections. They claim that there are powerful groups inside and outside of government trying to prevent reforms from being carried out.

Jandad Spenghar, chief of election network ACSEN said: "If government does not bring necessary reforms to the system, if government does not make fundamental changes in the election commissions, and if government does not bring acceptable figures to the commissions; it is impossible to have the support of the international community, civil society and Afghan people by having just an amendment in the election system."

Meanwhile, a number of former government officials have blasted the NUG for not fulfilling their commitments over the past two years.

"National unity government has not done anything over the past 23 months. The 23 months is the history of promises which has not been done. It is the main concern of the people. The legitimacy of the NUG will be questioned. These issues are serious and have raised concerns," said Dadfar Rangin Spanta, the former national security council advisor.

Electoral reforms and parliamentary and districts council elections are the main commitments mentioned in the NUG agreement, but political analysts believe that leaders have not fulfilled their promises to the people.

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Thu, 25 Aug 2016 13:28:29 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26926-electoral-reforms-critical-ahead-of-brussels-summit
Clerics Condemn Attack, Say It Was Against Islamic Values http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26925-clerics-condemn-attack-say-it-was-against-islamic-values reactions-25

Prominent Afghan religious scholars on Thursday strongly denounced Wednesday night's attack on the American University of Afghanistan that claimed the lives of 16 people.

The clerics said the attack against the institution was an attack on Islamic principles and human values.

"Conducting such heinous attacks on academic and scientific institutions is an unlawful act according to Islamic principles," said religious scholar Abdul Hadi Hedayat.

Highlighting the importance of academic institutions in the country, the clerics said that educational institutions are national assets and by targeting these institutions terrorists are revealing their anti-academic views and ideologies.

"Islamic laws have defined severe punishment to criminals plotting such attacks and perpetrators should be brought to justice," another scholar Baz Mohammad Rahimi said.

"Academic institutions and universities are the place where people come to learn, to get an education, they must be respected in society; the attack on the campus was brutal, the attack is in complete contradiction to Islamic law," university student Mahmoud Poya said.

The attack against the university also drew sharp condemnation from around the world.

The U.S. State Department denounced the attack in the strongest possible terms, calling it an attack on the future of Afghanistan.

The White House spokesman Josh Earnest said at a press conference: "...anytime we see innocent civilians whether they're Americans or Afghans or other innocent people of any nationality in an international city like Kabul, in harms way, we're of course deeply concerned about that. And the security situation inside Afghanistan is still one that is concerning. It certainly is something that we're monitoring closely. Obviously it's hard to get accurate information in the midst of a dynamic situation like this."

The U.S embassy in Kabul also condemned the attack. But renewed U.S commitments to the Afghan people.

"We remain strongly committed to the people of Afghanistan who are dedicated to establishing lasting peace and security and building the brightest possible future for their children," U.S Ambassador to Afghanistan P. Michael McKinley said.

The State Department's spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said the U.S. Embassy was working to account for all of its personnel and to locate and assist any U.S. citizens affected by the attack.

"This tragic attack on a symbol of hope and progress is yet another reminder of the increasingly perilous security situation in Afghanistan," said Senator Richard Burr, Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

The Afghan government in a statement said that the attack indicates terrorists' poor mindset and ignorance.

On Thursday afternoon Pakistan also issued a statement condemning the incident.

"Pakistan strongly condemns the terrorist attack at the American University in Kabul this morning in which many precious human lives were lost while a number of people were injured," the statement read.

The statement went on to state that Pakistan extends its profound condolences to the government and people of Afghanistan and the families of those who lost their loved ones in the brutal terrorist attack.

"Pakistan reiterates its condemnation of terrorism in all forms and manifestations," the statement read.

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Thu, 25 Aug 2016 13:03:08 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26925-clerics-condemn-attack-say-it-was-against-islamic-values
TOLOnews 10pm News 24 August 2016 http://www.tolonews.com/en/10pm-news-bulletin/26924-tolonews-10pm-news-24-august-2016 fawadamadnnnnnnnnnTop news in this Bulletin:

Officials have said the Crisis Response Unit (CRU) is on the campus of the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul and are engaging insurgents as the attack continues.

Click below to watch full bulletin.

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President Ashraf Ghani and his CEO Abdullah Abdullah are finally expected to meet Thursday for their second-round of talks following a falling out between the two.

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Thu, 25 Aug 2016 11:25:31 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/10pm-news-bulletin/26924-tolonews-10pm-news-24-august-2016
FARAKHABAR: Ghani, Abdullah Expected To Meet Thursday http://www.tolonews.com/en/fara-khabar/26923-farakhabar-ghani-abdullah-expected-to-meet-thursday farahkhabrtodayyy

President Ashraf Ghani and his CEO Abdullah Abdullah are finally expected to meet Thursday for their second-round of talks following a falling out between the two.

Initially the two were expected to meet last Thursday but this was postponed.

In this episode of Farakhabar, host Fawad Aman discusses the topic with political commentators Najibaullah Kabuli and Bismillah Sher.

Click below to watch full episode.

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Thu, 25 Aug 2016 11:18:17 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/fara-khabar/26923-farakhabar-ghani-abdullah-expected-to-meet-thursday
TAWDE KHABARE: Study Finds High Percentage Of People Want Change in Govt System http://www.tolonews.com/en/tawde-khabare/26922-tawde-khabare-study-finds-high-percentage-of-people-want-change-in-govt-system tawdekhabartodayyyy

A new survey by the Afghanistan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS) has found that over 50 percent of the Afghan people want a change in the current presidential system – and that they want both a president and a prime minister.

Amin Ahmadi, from AISS, delivered the key findings of the survey in Kabul on Tuesday, and said that 51 percent of Afghans want to see a change in the system.

In this episode of Tawde Khabare, host Shapoor Bakhtiar discusses the topic with following guests.

Obaidullah Barikzai, MP

Jawed Faisal, deputy spokesman for CEO Abdullah Abdullah

Matiullah Kharoti, political commentary

Fazlullah Wahidi, former governor of Herat

Click below to watch full episode.

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Thu, 25 Aug 2016 11:13:37 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/tawde-khabare/26922-tawde-khabare-study-finds-high-percentage-of-people-want-change-in-govt-system
RAPL 2016 Officially Kicks Off In Kabul http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26921-rapl-2016-officially-kicks-off-in-kabul RAPLTODAY

Thousands of football fans attended Afghanistan's Roshan Afghan Premier League (RAPL) 2016 opening ceremony in Kabul on Thursday.

Afghan Star contestants performed this year's new theme song while team captain's walked out on field waving their respective flags.

The opening match scheduled later Thursday will see last year's winners De Spinghar Bazan from the eastern zone face the northern Simorgh Alborz team.

Last year's final match drew a record 18.6 million viewers – which included 57% of all Afghans in the country and Afghans around the world.

"In the past four seasons we have witnessed the presence of new players in the national teams of different age-ranges from Roshan Afghanistan Premier League (RAPL). We could select Afghan players who have the membership of national team from the premier league. The league facilitates the selection of players for national team. We also could select elite players from Roshan Afghanistan Premier League for national teams of 19 years, 21 years, and 23 years. The performance of these players is remarkable in national teams," said the president of the Afghan Football Federation Keramuddin Karim recently.

"At Roshan, we are strong believers of supporting sport. Playing sports is about team work and at Roshan Afghan Premier League (RAPL) games, young Afghans of all backgrounds get to work together and grow stronger together. Our support for RAPL has already allowed young Afghans an opportunity to shine and represent their country on the world stage, bringing pride to all Afghans." said Karim Khoja, CEO of Roshan.

Meanwhile, Shafic Gawhari, CEO of Moby Group and RAPL Commissioner said: "RAPL successfully conducted four seasons in close cooperation with its partners over the past four years despite the existing challenges in this country. We are strongly committed to continuing the first professional football league which now has become a symbol of optimism and national unity for Afghanistan and everyone waits for the tournament in August each year."

The opening ceremony as well as all matches will be broadcast LIVE on TOLO TV, Lemar TV and simulcast on Arman FM, Arakozia FM as well as online via the RAPL Official YouTube Channel and website.

For fixtures visit http://www.afghanpremierleague.com/

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Thu, 25 Aug 2016 11:04:19 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26921-rapl-2016-officially-kicks-off-in-kabul
Afghanistan's 'Achilles' Gives His Life To Save Students http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26920-afghanistans-achilles-gives-his-life-to-save-students  

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One of Afghanistan's leading crack commanders, Lieutenant Mohammed Akbar Andarabi, was killed in Wednesday night's attack on the American University in Afghanistan – a loss that is seen as a great tragedy to the Afghan National Security Forces and to the country.

Akbar was leading a Crisis Response Unit team in the university at the time of his death.

Along with his team, he had climbed a ladder to the second floor of the university and was systematically clearing classrooms – saving hundreds of students.

At the end of a corridor, one insurgent was hiding. He managed to fire off a few rounds killing Akbar in the process.

CRU team members that had been with Akbar fired back and killed the insurgent.

Akbar's death is a great loss to Afghanistan. Since 2009 he has participated in over 30 high profile attacks in Kabul including the attack on the Pashtani Bank, the ministry of justice, the Intercontinental Hotel, the Serena Hotel attack, Kabul airport attack, Parliament, Green Village guest house and many more.

In addition to being the commander of the CRU, C Squadron, Akbar had also been involved in numerous intelligence-led night raids in various provinces of Afghanistan and had successfully led his team in helping retake Kunduz city last year.

Also known to his men as "Akbar e Daraz", he was likened to the historic Greek mythological warrior "Achilles" – as he was always decisive, courageous and a leader by definition at any scene.

Akbar is survived by his wife and one daughter.

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Thu, 25 Aug 2016 08:04:15 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26920-afghanistans-achilles-gives-his-life-to-save-students
Italy Quake Toll Hits 247 As Rescuers Hunt For Survivors http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26919-italy-quake-toll-hits-247-as-rescuers-hunt-for-survivors ItalllyQuake

The death toll from a powerful earthquake that shook central Italy rose to 247 on Thursday, officials said, as rescuers desperately searched for survivors in the rubble of devastated mountain villages.

Hundreds of others were injured, some critically, and an unknown number were trapped under the ruins of collapsed buildings after Wednesday's pre-dawn quake.

Amid scenes of carnage, dozens of emergency services staff and volunteers were determined to attempt to pluck more survivors from the ruins.

Rescuers had pledged to work through the night in the hope of finding people alive in the mangled wreckage of homes.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi had earlier warned that the toll would likely rise after visiting the badly hit village of Amatrice.

Hundreds of people spent a chilly night in hastily assembled tents with the risk of aftershocks making it too risky for them to return home.

Scores of buildings were reduced to dusty piles of masonry in communities close to the epicenter of the quake, which had a magnitude of between 6.0 and 6.2.

It hit a remote area straddling Umbria, Marche and Lazio at a time of year when second-home owners and other visitors swell the numbers staying there. Many of the victims were from Rome.

The devastated area is just north of L'Aquila, the city where some 300 people died in another quake in 2009.

Most of the deaths occurred in and around the villages of Amatrice, Accumoli and Arquata del Tronto.

Guido Bordo, 69, lost his sister and her husband after they were trapped inside their holiday house in the hamlet of Illica, near Accumoli.

"There's no sound from them, we only heard their cats," he told AFP before the deaths were confirmed.

"I wasn't here. As soon as the quake happened, I rushed here. They managed to pull my sister's children out, they're in hospital now," he added, wringing his hands in anguish.

Among the victims was a nine-month-old baby girl whose parents survived, an 18-month-old toddler and two other young children who died with their parents in Accumoli.

Two boys aged four and seven were saved by their quick-thinking grandmother, who ushered them under a bed as soon as the shaking began, according to reports. She also survived but lost her husband.

Renzi said it was too early to consider what might have been done to prevent the disaster.

"Today is the time for tears and emotion," he said, vowing that his government would start reconstruction work first thing on Thursday.

It was Italy's most powerful earthquake since the 2009 disaster in L'Aquila.

"Half the village has disappeared," said Amatrice mayor Sergio Pirozzi, surveying a town center that looked as if had been subjected to a bombing raid.

The tremors were strong enough to be felt 150 kms away in Rome, where authorities ordered structural tests on the Colosseum.

Some of the worst damage was in Pescara del Tronto, a hamlet near Arquata in the Marche region where the bodies of the dead were laid out in a children's park.

With residents advised not to go back into their homes, temporary campsites were being set up in Amatrice and Accumoli as authorities looked to find emergency accommodation for more than 2,000 people.

Amatrice is a hilltop beauty spot considered home of amatriciana, one of Italy's favourite pasta sauces. It is popular with Romans seeking cool mountain air at the height of the summer.

It was packed with visitors when the quake struck at 3:36am.

Three minutes later the clock on the village's 13th-century tower stopped.

The first quake measured 6.2, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

It measured 6.0 according to Italian monitors, who put the depth at only four kilometers. A 5.4-magnitude aftershock followed an hour later.

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Thu, 25 Aug 2016 07:14:43 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26919-italy-quake-toll-hits-247-as-rescuers-hunt-for-survivors
Four Killed, 14 Wounded In Balkh Roadside Blast http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26918-four-killed-14-wounded-in-balkh-roadside-blast BlastToday

At least four people were killed and 14 others wounded in a roadside bomb blast in Khulm district, Balkh province, officials said Thursday.

The incident took place at around 10am local time and the explosives were placed inside a bag, and detonated remotely, said Balkh security manager General Abdul Razaq Qaderi said.

Meanwhile, Asadullah Sharifi, an MP from Balkh, said he had been the target of the attack and that two of his security guards are among the wounded.

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Thu, 25 Aug 2016 07:04:40 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26918-four-killed-14-wounded-in-balkh-roadside-blast
Ghani Condemns University Attack, Calls It Against Progress http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26917-ghani-condemns-university-attack-calls-it-against-progress http://www.tolonews.com/TOLOnews_photo/afghanistan/Ghani_President__Afghanistan.jpg

President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday condemned the attack on the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul that took 13 lives, calling it an enmity against development and progress in the country.

"By conducting attacks on civilians, education institutions, residential places, bridges, power pylons and peaceful demonstrations, terrorist groups want to impede the growth and development of the values that Afghans believe in as the route towards progress and prosperity in Afghanistan," Ghani said in a statement sent by his media office.

He added: "Terrorists should realize that despite all the challenges, the Afghan people and the government will continue the path they have chosen and they will overcome all the challenges."

"Attack on education institutions and public places as well as targeting civilians will strengthen our goal to eliminate the roots of terrorism," Ghani said.

He also appreciated the security and defense forces for preventing further casualty in the attack.

Ghani extended his heartfelt condolences to the victims' families of the attack and wished swift recovery for the wounded.

Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry in a statement condemned the attack on the American University of Afghanistan and termed it un unforgivable crime by terrorist groups.

The ministry in the statement said that 12 people – including seven students, three police force members, one security guard from the university, and an official from the Visually Impaired Vocational High School were killed in the attack.

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Thu, 25 Aug 2016 06:08:38 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26917-ghani-condemns-university-attack-calls-it-against-progress
University Attack Ends After 10 Hours, Leaves 13 Dead http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26916-university-attack-ends-after-10-hours-leaves-13-dead UniversityAttackStoryToday

The attack on the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul ended early Thursday morning after security officials gunned down at least two insurgents.

Kabul Police Chief Abdul Rahman Rahimi said the attack was ended after 10 hours at 5am local time.

According to him, at least 13 people including seven students of the American University, two security guards of the university, one official from the Visually Impaired Vocational High School and three soldiers.

Nearly 35 people including nine soldiers were wounded in the attack, he said.

"The attacker used the Visually Impaired Vocational High School to enter into the university. They [the attackers] broke the entrance door by an explosive-laden vehicle," Rahimi said, who was briefing journalists near the attack scene on Thursday morning.

"Totally there were about 750 students and staff members inside the university. All were evacuated successfully by our personnel," he added.

The attack triggered desperate pleas on social media from trapped students shortly after the insurgents blew an opening through a wall to gain entry into the heavily guarded complex.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the incident.

This is the second attack against the university this month. About two weeks ago two of its foreign professors were kidnapped at gunpoint after leaving work. One is an American and the other is an Australian.

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Thu, 25 Aug 2016 03:44:15 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26916-university-attack-ends-after-10-hours-leaves-13-dead
Clashes Ongoing In Kunduz http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26915-clashes-ongoing-in-kunduz kunduz-24

Despite an increase in U.S air strikes against Taliban strongholds on the outskirts of Kunduz city, insurgents are still active in the area.

On Tuesday night, heavy clashes were recorded between Taliban and commandos and Special Forces near Kunduz city.

Security forces told to Wali Arian, TOLONEWS journalist reporting from the area, that they have retaking strongholds occupied by the Taliban on the frontline.

However, insurgents are still active along the Baghlan-Kunduz highway.

Security forces have said that insurgents repeatedly return to the highway where they erect checkposts but as soon as security forces arrive they flee the area.

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Wed, 24 Aug 2016 16:20:58 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26915-clashes-ongoing-in-kunduz
Ghani, Abdullah Expected To Meet Thursday http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26914-ghani-abdullah-expected-to-meet-thursday Governors-24

President Ashraf Ghani and his CEO Abdullah Abdullah are finally expected to meet Thursday for their second-round of talks following a falling out between the two.

Initially the two were expected to meet last Thursday but this was postponed.

"President Ghani and the Chief Executive will meet on Thursday for the second time to discuss the implementation of the national unity government (NUG), an agreement that needs to be implemented fully as was promised the people", said Javid Faisal, spokesman for the CEO office.

Meanwhile a number of former government officials believe that the rift between the two is not serious, but that the main disagreement is between people and the national unity government.

They say that if the leaders do not fulfill commitments they promised; the legitimacy of the election will be questioned by the people.

"The situation is critical, it is better not to speak ... Loya Jirga needs to be held ... I insist that a Loya Jirga needs to be held because people want it and the national unity government leaders promised that to the people. They cannot deceive people ... they should not test people's patience", said Rangin Dadfar Spanta, former deputy of the National Security Council.

Meanwhile, a number of political analysts have said that leaders of the NUG are required to hold a Loya Jirga. They blasted them for not having taken action to convene this.

Fazlullah Wahidi, former governor of Herat, said: "They are afraid that if they hold the Jirga people will hear the suggestions of politicians and will become aware of the situation. Thus the Jirga would say that they do not want this government. Therefore, they do not want to hold the Loya Jirga."

The disagreements between the two leaders emerged about 10 days ago when Abdullah criticized Ghani for not taking some issues seriously and for not implementing the conditions of the NUG agreement.

Issues presented to Ghani by Abdullah at last week's meeting reportedly included that of the implementation of the NUG accord, the issue of governance, issues around foreign and national policies, electoral reforms, equal division of authorities, authorities of the CEO in the administration and finance, the inclusion of the CEO in national decisions, the authorities of some presidential advisors, and appointing key persons to senior positions.

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Wed, 24 Aug 2016 15:50:57 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26914-ghani-abdullah-expected-to-meet-thursday
TOLOnews 6pm News 24 August 2016 http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/26913-tolonews-6pm-news-24-august-2016- zaki-24Top news in this Bulletin:

The American University of Afghanistan in Darul Aman Road in Kabul city came under attack just after 7pm on Wednesday.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

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Formed by ex-governors, Afghanistan Governors Union Tuesday blasted government over its failure to abide by the political agreement signed between President Ashraf Ghani and his CEO Abdullah Abdullah following the 2014 controversial elections.

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Wed, 24 Aug 2016 15:34:40 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/26913-tolonews-6pm-news-24-august-2016-
University Attack Ongoing In Kabul http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26912-university-attack-ongoing-in-kabul- attacks-24

Officials have said the Crisis Response Unit (CRU) is on the campus of the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul and are engaging insurgents as the attack continues. 

Insurgents gained entry into the heavily fortified compound at about 7pm local time on Wednesday after blowing open an entry point into the university - reportedly through the neighboring school for the blind.

An unknown number of gunmen and suicide bombers are currently holed up in the university.

By 9pm, security forces had disconnected the electricity supply to the compound so as to cut the lights.

Unconfirmed reports indicate that over 100 students and staff were able to escape but an unknown number are still trapped inside the university.

According to sources, there were a number of initial explosions and then gunfire as the insurgents were able to breach the heavily fortified compound.

One student who managed to escape confirmed that many students and staff members were still inside.  

Reports also indicate that there are casualties but no official confirmation has as yet been received - except from the Kabul Emergency Hospital that treated 14 people for injuries. Three of these are in critical condition. 

This comes just two weeks after two of the university's professors were kidnapped. One was an American and the other an Australian.

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Wed, 24 Aug 2016 15:17:15 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26912-university-attack-ongoing-in-kabul-
CEO's Office Dismisses Ex-governors' Statements on Legitimacy http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26911-ceos-office-dismisses-ex-governors-statements-on-legitimacy Walyan-24 2

Formed by ex-governors, Afghanistan Governors Union Tuesday blasted government over its failure to abide by the political agreement signed between President Ashraf Ghani and his CEO Abdullah Abdullah following the 2014 controversial elections.

Referring to the two–year time frame mentioned in the accord, the governors said that the present government will lose its credibility after 19 September when the NUG agreement ends.

"From a legal perspective, government loses its credibility after 19 September. Only two campaign teams remain at ARG (Presidential Palace) and Sapidar Palace (CEO's office)," said head of Afghanistan Governors Union, Abdul Jabbar Taqwa.

But, the CEO's office has hit back at the assertions, saying that the agreement was for five years and that the two-year time period was to conduct the Loya Jirga.

"The national unity government was formed for five years. The two-year time limit mentioned was to convene the Loya Jirga. More works is going to be done. Government is determined to meet its commitments it has made to the people so that the way is paved for 100 percent implementation of the national unity government accord," said Jawed Faisal, spokesman to CEO.

The governors accused government leaders of continued bargaining over power sharing issues.

"Unfortunately the two leaders failed to implement the accord and the crisis has further increased over the last two years," said former governor of Sar-e-Pul Abdul Jabbar Haqbin.

Former governors also unveiled a plan, suggesting an alternate to the present government, saying the plan will be put forward for discussions with Afghan political leaders and parties.

"If the plan outlined by the Afghan Governors Union is approved by all sides, we will unveil our plan after 19 September when the government tenure expires," said Abdul Jabbar Taqwa, head of Afghanistan Governors Union.

"I believe that the government tenure has expired on the basis of the agreement signed," said Amir Mohammad Akhundzada, former governor of Nimroz.

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Wed, 24 Aug 2016 15:04:21 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26911-ceos-office-dismisses-ex-governors-statements-on-legitimacy
21 Of Karzai's ex-Cabinet Members Suspected Of Corruption: AGO http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26910-21-of-karzais-ex-cabinet-members-suspected-of-corruption-ago Corruption-24

Afghanistan's Attorney General's Office on Tuesday reported that at least 21 of former president Hamid Karzai's cabinet members are suspected of having been involved in corruption and that the new anti-corruption justice center is set to investigate the issue.

In line with this, anti-corruption monitoring groups have said they are hopeful that the anti-corruption center pursues its job with freedom, and in an impartial and fair manner.

"There are cases related to more than 21 ministers lying at the Attorney General's Office and they need to be investigated, at the same time, the ministries that in recent months were investigated by the presidential delegation and the delegation assigned by the attorney general (need to be reinvestigated). Also the corruption cases recorded in the capital and in the provinces, we will work on them," said AGO spokesman Basir Azizi.

In addition, sources on condition of anonymity have said that a number of present and ex-government officials, including ministers, governors, chiefs and mayors are suspected of being involved in corruption.

They said that the anti-corruption justice center has been asked to launch an investigation into all these elements.

"If the center is exploited for political purposes, then it would be a failed attempt," said Nasim Akbar, head of the Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Evaluation Commission.

"People expect that those who are involved in misusing public assets and in embezzling millions are brought to justice," said Abdul Qahar Farukh Siar, head of the High Office of Oversight and Anti Corruption.

Fighting corruption has been a major challenge for the National Unity Government (NUG) as it has had to convince Afghanistan's international partners for continued aid.

The establishment of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Justice Center elicited positive reactions from the Afghan people. However Afghans fear that lawbreakers and government officials could interfere in the center's job.

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Wed, 24 Aug 2016 14:57:32 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26910-21-of-karzais-ex-cabinet-members-suspected-of-corruption-ago
More Women, Youth in Govt Under NUG http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26909-more-women-youth-in-govt-under-nug brussels-24

A clear development over the past two years under the National Unity Government has been the increase in women and youth in government.

The Kabul Municipality is one government institution that has seen a marked increase in the number of women and youth appointed to jobs.

Meanwhile, a number of these young people have stressed the need for more steps to be taken to further increase the presence of women and youth in government institutions.

Saha Hamdard is one of dozens of Afghan youths who have been appointed to the municipality. Hamdard was appointed to the policy coordination department of Kabul Municipality.

"We hope that government paves the way for Afghan girls to pursue their education inside and outside the country so that they can work in key government positions in the future," she said.

Several other women were also hired in some key posts at the institution.

"The public relations department is comprised of three sections including a public complaints registration center where people can record their complaints by dialing 155 and informing us about their problems," said Breshna Orya, head of the public relations department of Kabul Municipality.

The representation of youths and women to government jobs is said to be an important achievement by the national unity government.

Analysts suggest that the Afghan government by discussing such programs at the Brussels Summit can motivate the international community to continue its financial, political and technical cooperation to Afghanistan.

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Wed, 24 Aug 2016 14:10:32 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26909-more-women-youth-in-govt-under-nug
Lashkargah City Under Siege http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26908-lashkargah-city-under-siege lashkargah-24-aug-16

Lashkargah city is under siege from all four directions by Taliban insurgents and all its routes leading to the city are closed.

Residents in the area have said they are tired of the current situation.

"We are tired of the situation all four directions into Lashkargah are under siege," said Sifatullah a resident.

"The situation is very bad the areas surrounding Lashkargah city are controlled by the Taliban and even Lashkargah city is run by Taliban and the government," said Sultan Mohammad a resident.

Sharif Amiry and Abdulhah Hamim TOLOnews correspondents who are in Babaji 4th Zone of Lashkargah said that Afghan forces are in defensive positions.

"Taliban are in the Babaji area and every day we fight with them but there is no result. We call on government to put an end to this turmoil," said Saifullah Helamand a border forces commander in Helmand.

Khair Mohammad who lost one of his relatives in aTaliban skirmish said: "They are God's creatures and God will get upset at the loss of his creatures. We want both parties to the war to know that this is enough - people are really tired of the situation."‎

Even though Lashkargah city is under siege local resients are trying to keep up their spirits.

"Everyday Helmand people witness war but yet we pass our days and we play football to forget the war," said Siddiqullah a football player.

Despite Lashkargah city's current situation, residents say they can only hope for a better tomorrow.

To watch the video report, click here:

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Wed, 24 Aug 2016 09:27:08 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26908-lashkargah-city-under-siege
Karachi's Next Mayor To Run City From Prison http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26907-karachis-next-mayor-to-run-city-from-prison karachi-mayor-24-aug-16

The imprisoned politician who is almost certain to be the next mayor of Pakistan's largest and richest city of Karachi will run the teeming metropolis via "video link" from his prison cell, his lawyer said on Wednesday.

According to Reuters, Waseem Akhtar, who was arrested last month on suspicion of aiding alleged militants, arrived in an armored police vehicle at the British-era Karachi Metropolitan Corporation building to cast his vote in the final round of elections that has his party in an unassailable lead.

Akhtar is a member of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), which swept local elections in December, but he could not take office because of legal challenges that prevented members of the city council from casting their vote. MQM controls the council.

"He will open an office in jail and via video link he will conduct council sessions," Mahfooz Yar Khan, Akhtar's lawyer, told reporters outside the council building as his client voted inside. "He can run Karachi via video link for five years."

The election of an imprisoned politician as mayor is symbolic of the ongoing power struggle for control of Karachi, a port city that is home to 20 million people, the stock exchange, central bank, as well as militants and gangsters.

Akhtar's secular MQM has dominated politics and commerce in the city for decades, but a paramilitary crackdown on crime since 2013 has undermined its power base.

On Tuesday, police lodged a case of treason against MQM's firebrand London-based leader, Altaf Hussain, and sealed the party's headquarters after Hussain had incited supporters to attack the office of a TV channel in clashes that left one dead.

How Akhtar will manage to run the city is far from clear, with the courts not expected to release him before he likely takes oath on Aug. 30.

Akhtar was arrested on July 19 on suspicion of sheltering and providing medical treatment to alleged militants and criminals. He also faces earlier charges of inciting riots.

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Wed, 24 Aug 2016 07:51:25 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26907-karachis-next-mayor-to-run-city-from-prison
India Set To Deliver More Arms To Afghanistan http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26906-india-set-to-deliver-more-arms-to-afghanistan indian-arms-24-aug-16

India is set to deliver more arms to Afghanistan to help the war-torn country fight Daesh militants.

According to reports, Indian officials have said that the Afghan Army Chief of Staff Qadam Shah Shahim is expected to visit New Delhi early next week to present a list of military equipment needed.

This reportedly comes after the U.S-forces' commander in Afghanistan General John Nicholson held talks with Indian officials to find a way in which India could assist the Afghanistan Air Force.

In the past 10 years, New Delhi has invested nearly $2 billion USD dollars in Afghanistan's reconstruction and economic programs but has been more cautious in providing military aid to the country.

Early this week, former president Hamid Karzai visited India and said in an interview that India could do more to help Afghanistan in terms of providing military aid.

"India should be a lot bolder in meeting the military needs of Afghanistan. I want India to take bold steps, and put caution behind, to bolster Afghan defense capabilities," said Karzai in an interview.

"We would want them to do more" Karzai added.

Pakistan recently claimed that India organizes terror attacks on its soil from Afghanistan.

However, Afghan officials denied this.

Omid Misam, deputy spokesman for the Afghan CEO, in response to this claim said: "Pakistan and Afghanistan are both victims of terrorism. Afghan government many times asked Pakistan to stand at the side of the Afghan government and fight insurgents in the region honestly."

Leaders of some political parties have meanwhile said that Pakistan is afraid of the Afghan-India friendship.

Political analysts said they believe that Pakistan is suffering from its own political mistakes.

Last December, New Delhi announced the supply of four attack helicopters to Afghanistan after it acknowledged the Afghan national forces were in dire need of military supplies to tackle the Taliban, Daesh and other militant groups.

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Wed, 24 Aug 2016 07:16:43 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26906-india-set-to-deliver-more-arms-to-afghanistan
TOLOnews 10pm News 23 August 2016 http://www.tolonews.com/en/10pm-news-bulletin/26905-tolonews-10pm-news-23-august-2016 fawad-aman-23-aug-16Top news in this Bulletin:

The task team assigned to probe the fall of Dahna-e-Ghori district of Baghlan, last week, said on Tuesday that preliminary findings show the Taliban reportedly infiltrated the area without facing retaliation from security forces.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

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Afghanistan's cabinet has unanimously adopted a plan paving the way for a single-seat constituency system in the election law.

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Wed, 24 Aug 2016 07:06:35 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/10pm-news-bulletin/26905-tolonews-10pm-news-23-august-2016
Afghan Travels 400km Belted To Underside Of Truck http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26904-afghan-travels-400km-belted-to-underside-of-truck refugees-24-aug-16

An Afghan migrant travelled 400 kms along an Italian highway strapped by leather belts to the under carriage of a truck, police said Tuesday.

The young man was arrested after other motorists on the Naples-Rome stretch of the A1 motorway caught sight of him suspended from his makeshift harness and alerted police.

The Bulgarian drivers of the lorry, who were on a trip from Turkey to Spain, said they had been unaware of the stowaway and were allowed to continue their journey.

In an interview with Sky TG24, the Afghan man said he had paid 900 euros ($1,017 USD) to a trafficker who had attached him to the truck on a ferry from Greece, where he had spent six months in a migrant camp. He had been on his way to the Italian port of Brindisi.

He said his 22 hours under the truck were tough but not unbearable. "I have been through much more dangerous things in Afghanistan than this journey," he said.

The exhausted Afghan was briefly hospitalized before being released to a migrant reception center. He was ordered to leave Italy within seven days after indicating he did not want to register an asylum request in the country.

More than 100,000 migrants have arrived in Italy since the start of the year. Many of them try to avoid registering there in the hope of being able to deposit asylum requests in northern Europe.

Aid workers said they were hopeful that the Afghan stowaway would change his mind and register an asylum request in Italy. He told Sky TG24 he wanted to get to France to meet friends and that his mother and brothers were living in Switzerland.

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Wed, 24 Aug 2016 06:19:39 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26904-afghan-travels-400km-belted-to-underside-of-truck
5th Season of RAPL to Kick-Off Thursday http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26903-5th-season-of-rapl-to-kick-off-thursday RAPL-24-August-2016

The 5th season of the Roshan Afghan Premier League (RAPL) will kick-off on Thursday at the Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF) stadium in Kabul.

The opening ceremony will include RAPL 2016's new theme song and will be performed by three contestants from this year's Afghan Stars, Ziba Hamid, Rashid Aria and Ashkan Arab.

The ceremony will start at 3:00pm local time and fans will wear the colors of the country's flag, 12 young singers from Afghan Stars will also sing the National Anthem and many more surprises are in store for fans in the stadium.

"In the past four seasons we have witnessed the presence of new players in the national team of different age-ranges from Roshan Afghanistan Premier League (RAPL). We could select Afghan players who have the membership of national team from the premier league," said Keramuddin Karim, President of AFF.

"The league facilitates the selection of players for the national team. We also could select elite players from Roshan Afghanistan Premier League for national teams of 19 years, 21 years, and 23 years. The performance of these players is remarkable in national teams," ‎he added.

After the ceremony, the tournament will continue with the opening match between the winner of the 4th Season and the Eastern Zone's team, De Spinghar Bazan, against Simorgh Alborz representing the Northern Zone of the country, according to RAPL officials.

"At Roshan, we are strong believers of supporting sport. Playing sport is about team work and at Roshan Afghan Premier League (RAPL) games, young Afghans of all backgrounds get to work together and grow stronger together. Our support for RAPL has already allowed young Afghans an opportunity to shine and represent their country on the world stage, bringing pride to all Afghans." said Karim Khoja, CEO of Roshan.

"The aim of holding the Afghan Premier League is for a healthy show for young Afghan and for the gathering of Afghanistan's young and the slogan of the Afghan Premier League is one nation one voice," Kargar said at a press conference on Tuesday.

"RAPL successfully conducted four seasons in close cooperation with its partners over the past four years despite the existing challenges in this country," Shafic Gawhari, CEO of Moby Group Afghanistan and RAPL's Commissioner.

"We are strongly committed to continuing the first professional football league which now has become a symbol of optimism and national unity for Afghanistan and everyone is waiting for the main tournament by August of each year," he said.

RAPL-24-August

The ceremony and all football matches will be broadcast live on TOLO TV, Lemar TV and Arman FM, Arakozia FM as well as online via the RAPL Official YouTube Channel and website.

57% of Afghans in the country (at least 18.6 million viewers) as well as Afghans around the world (via YouTube) watched the 2015 Championship match between De Spinghar Bazan and Shaheen Asmayee (KAL – 2015 survey).

To watch the report, click here:

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Wed, 24 Aug 2016 03:48:10 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/26903-5th-season-of-rapl-to-kick-off-thursday
MEHWAR: Utilization of Construction Project Discussed http://www.tolonews.com/en/mehwar/26901-mehwar-utilization-of-construction-project-discussed mehwar-project-23-aug-16

In this episode Masoud Malik discusses utilization of Khushal Khan Mena construction project inaugurated on Tuesday in Kabul city, with Ministry of Urban Development and Housing spokeswoman Nafesa Nemati.

To watch the program, click here:

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Wed, 24 Aug 2016 03:18:46 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/mehwar/26901-mehwar-utilization-of-construction-project-discussed